His Life and Times
Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385507387, 640pp.
Publication Date: October 4, 2005
The extraordinary story of Andrew Jackson—the colorful, dynamic, and forceful president who ushered in the Age of Democracy and set a still young America on its path to greatness—told by the bestselling author of The First American.
The most famous American of his time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in American history. The first “common man” to rise to the presidency, Jackson embodied the spirit and the vision of the emerging American nation; the term “Jacksonian democracy” is embedded in our national lexicon.
With the sweep, passion, and attention to detail that made The First American a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a national bestseller, historian H.W. Brands shapes a historical narrative that’s as fast-paced and compelling as the best fiction. He follows Andrew Jackson from his days as rebellious youth, risking execution to free the Carolinas of the British during the Revolutionary War, to his years as a young lawyer and congressman from the newly settled frontier state of Tennessee. As general of the Tennessee militia, he put down a massive Indian uprising in the South, securing the safety of American settlers, and his famous rout of the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 made him a national hero.
But it is Jackson’s contributions as president, however, that won him a place in the pantheon of America’s greatest leaders. A man of the people, without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, he sought as president to make the country a genuine democracy, governed by and for the people. Jackson, although respectful of states’ rights, devoted himself to the preservation of the Union, whose future in that age was still very much in question. When South Carolina, his home state, threatened to secede over the issue of slavery, Jackson promised to march down with 100,000 federal soldiers should it dare.
In the bestselling tradition of Founding Brothers and His Excellency by Joseph Ellis and of John Adams by David McCullough, Andrew Jackson is the first single-volume, full-length biography of Jackson in decades. This magisterial portrait of one of our greatest leaders promises to reshape our understanding of both the man and his era and is sure to be greeted with enthusiasm and acclaim.
H.W. BRANDS is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. The author of Lone Star Nation and The Age of Gold, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. He lives with his family in Austin, Texas.
Critical Acclaim for H.W Brands
The First American
(Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography)
“A Franklin to savor.”—James Grant, Wall Street Journal
“A vivid portrait of the 18th century milieu and of the 18th century man …[Brands is] a master storyteller.”— Christian Science Monitor
“Enchanting”—The New Yorker
The Age of Gold
“A fine, robust telling of one of the greatest adventure stories in history.”—David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize—winning author of John Adams
“The Age of Gold is a gripping narrative account of the mad rush for California riches that forever changed America. … Brimming with unforgettable anecdotes and vivid prose, Brands beams the reader back to a time when anything seemed possible. A real page-turner.”—Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency, director of the Eisenhower Center, and professor of history at the University of New Orleans
“A barn burner … Masterfully sketched historical figures, subtly developed themes, and especially well-braided stories. …‘Eureka!’”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A triumph.”— Oregonian
“An engrossing, multifaceted history.”— New York Times
“Dazzling”— Los Angeles Times