His Life and Times
By H.W. Brands
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400030729, 656pp.)
Publication Date: October 10, 2006
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In this, the first major single-volume biography of Andrew Jackson in decades, H.W. Brands reshapes our understanding of this fascinating man, and of the Age of Democracy that he ushered in.
An orphan at a young age and without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, Jackson showed that the Presidency was not the exclusive province of the wealthy and the well-born but could truly be held by a man of the people. On a majestic, sweeping scale Brands re-creates Jackson’s rise from his hardscrabble roots to his days as frontier lawyer, then on to his heroic victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and finally to the White House. Capturing Jackson’s outsized life and deep impact on American history, Brands also explores his controversial actions, from his unapologetic expansionism to the disgraceful Trail of Tears. This is a thrilling portrait, in full, of the president who defined American democracy.
H. W. Brands is the Dickson Allen Anderson 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 for Biography for The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. He lives with his family in Austin, Texas.
“Jackson was an American original, a wholly fascinating figure whom H. W. Brands brings to life in a big, rich biography. . . .Brands weaves together keen political history with anecdote and marvelous sense of place to produce a vivid tableau.” —The Boston Globe
“A great story. . . . Serves up everything you might expect in a ripping yarn: murderous duels, savage Indian raids, equally savage counterattacks.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Highly readable and entertaining. . . . [Brands] presents Jackson, warts and all, as the fascinating and exceedingly real character that he was and lets the man emerge from behind the image to stand on his own.” —Dallas Morning News
“Revealing. . . . A masterful, detailed account of Jackson's life and his contributions to the nation. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully told.” —The Oregonian