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Book Review of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
reviewed on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4

This book focuses on the White House years of Andrew Jacksons life. A surprising amount of Jacksons story centers around the scandalous marriage of one of his long-time supporters and Cabinet members (was she still married? was she not?), but other colorful characters abound as well Calhoun, Clay, Van Buren. Meacham also gives a great deal of attention to the women in the White House (who often remain behind the scenes).

For some reason, Jackson did not seem like a compelling character in this book. He was smart, politically astute, and stubborn. He staved off secession of South Carolina (and perhaps other states), and he clearly changed the nature of the presidency. But I never glimpsed his soul in this book. He remains for me a far-off politician important historically, but still only a face on the twenty dollar bill.

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