Sunday, January 01, 2012

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

by Jon Meacham

I’ve been reading this off and on since July, and I’m happy to have finally finished it! This is the story of Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Jackson AKA Old Hickory was the first real or “regular” man to occupy the White House. He was tough and honest and always stood by his belief that he was working for the people, not the Congress.

When he entered the White House, he was a new widower. He turned to family to help him with his new position. He was never afraid, and he was firm in his convictions, qualities neither respected nor appreciated by his rivals. Though some of his policies (Indian removal) were less than successful or not embraced, Jackson was a proud president from who subsequent presidents can (and did) learn a lot.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, American Lion has its ups and downs. It was not always the most stimulating reading choice on my nightstand. I will say this: all of the good press about this book forced me to learn a little something about Jackson, and I am grateful for the experience.


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