Monday, February 02, 2009

American Lion - Andrew Jackson in the White House

Over the last several months, we have seen the author of American Lion on the Jon Steward Show and the Colbert Report. I was impressed with the author (he is an editor for Newsweek) and bought the book. About halfway through, I was ready to dump the book and give it a negative recommendation. Although I am sure that it is not true, it seems like the majority of the first half of the book deals with Jackson's War Secretary John Eaton and his wife Margaret and their struggles to be accepted by Washington society. It seemed like this subject when on and on.

About the time I was really discouraged, the book shifted gears and started to focus on a number of key events, including the South Carolina nullification efforts, Jackson's crusade against the Bank of the United States, tensions with France over a treaty, moving the Indians west of the Mississippi and the conflict between Texas and Mexico. I have not read much about American history from 1800 to 1840. I was fascinated by the how you could see lines being drawn for the Civil War more than 30 year before it took place. I enjoyed the second half of the book.

Overall, I give the book a luke warm recommendation. I am definitely going to have to go back later and find a complete biography on Andrew Jackson.

No comments:

Post a Comment