By: John Meacham
Any student of American history will enjoy this well-researched, easy-to-read biography of Andrew Jackson. Borrowing from a vast array of resources (including many previously-undiscovered documents and letters to/from Jackson’s circle of friends/family and political confidants), John Meacham (one of our foremost historians) provides new insight into the intriguing personality that was our nation’s 7th president. The book focuses almost exclusively on Jackson’s presidency (1829-1837). It covers many of the issues with which Jackson wrestled, such as the nullification crisis of 1832-33, the ongoing battle to do away with the US Bank, a cabinet that was not always on the same page, and his tenacious handling of the so-called “Indian problem” that culminated in the “Trail of Tears”. While over 180 years have passed since Jackson was succeeded in the White House by Martin Van Buren — and e-mails have replaced letters as a communication tool — the political intrigue and wheeling-dealing of the 1830s are often mindful of today’s headlines.