100 books like Fathers and Children

By Michael Paul Rogin,

Here are 100 books that Fathers and Children fans have personally recommended if you like Fathers and Children. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Age of Jackson

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

The O.G. of works on Andrew Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger’s book not only won the Pulitzer Prize, but went a long way towards rehabilitating Jackson’s legacy in the eyes of Americans. Although the historical analysis is dated now—not surprising for a book written in the 1940s—Schlesinger’s prose is beautiful, nearly poetic at times. So long as you take the assumptions about race, gender, and ethnicity in the context in which it was written, it’s a great read. I finished it wishing that historians still wrote with prose like this, albeit with different conclusions. 

By Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Age of Jackson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The outgrowth of a series of lectures entitled 'A reinterpretation of Jacksonian democracy' delivered at the Lowell Institute in Boston in the fall of 1941."--Acknowledgements.


Book cover of The Passions of Andrew Jackson

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

If you find Schlesinger’s account a bit troubling, this book is your antidote. Burstein engages in a blistering account of Andrew Jackson’s turbulent life; his personalization of political conflicts, his propensity for violence, and his cultivation of populist politics. In the end, the Jackson that emerges is a great deal less heroic than most accounts; certainly more psychotic than earlier ones. That said, Burstein’s book is a great read and shows up on this list because it is a great way to understand how many Americans regard Andrew Jackson these days. 

By Andrew Burstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Passions of Andrew Jackson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most people vaguely imagine Andrew Jackson as a jaunty warrior and a man of the people, but he was much more—a man just as complex and controversial as Jefferson or Lincoln. Now, with the first major reinterpretation of his life in a generation, historian Andrew Burstein brings back Jackson with all his audacity and hot-tempered rhetoric.

The unabashedly aggressive Jackson came of age in the Carolinas during the American Revolution, migrating to Tennessee after he was orphaned at the age of fourteen. Little more than a poorly educated frontier bully when he first opened his public career, he was possessed…


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

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

Meacham offers a beautifully written account of the Jackson presidency. As a journalist and biographer outside the edicts of academic rigor, he can skirt quite deftly among the more controversial aspects of Jackson’s actions and offer a fair and balanced account. I grabbed this book right before a long flight and although I was expecting a dated list of paeans to Jackson’s “feistiness”—other popular accounts of Jackson’s life fall squarely into this boring and tired trap—I found Meacham’s book to be one of the better examples of political biography done right. It kept me reading all the way through the flight, even when we hit turbulence. 

By Jon Meacham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever

Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding…


Book cover of The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

One of Jackson’s earliest—and most critical—biographers wrote in 1860: “the political history of the United States, for the last thirty years, dates from the moment when the soft hand of Mr. Van Buren touched Mrs. Eaton's knocker.” This earnest statement has not aged particularly well, but the significance of the Peggy Eaton Affair, in which Andrew Jackson risked an enormous amount of political capital defending the honor of one of his Secretary of War’s spouse, still fascinates. Marszalek reconstructs the world of gender, respectability, and the inner workings of Jackson’s White House with skill and grace.  

By John F. Marszalek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Petticoat Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This account of the Eaton Affair describes the story of how Peggy O'Neale Eaton, the wife of President Andrew Jackson's secretary of war, was branded a "loose woman" and snubbed by Washington society. The president's defence of her honour fuelled intense speculation and a scandal began.


Book cover of A Paradise of Blood: The Creek War of 1813-14

Mike Bunn Author Of Battle for the Southern Frontier: The Creek War and the War of 1812

From my list on understanding the Creek War of 1813 to 1814.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent a large part of my career researching and writing about the pivotal era in which these conflicts occurred, and continue to be intrigued by these cataclysmic events and their repercussions. Many conflicts in this nation’s history compete for the title of most unknown war, but the Creek War of 1813-1814 and the related southern campaigns of the War of 1812 have perhaps the best claim on that notoriety. Yet these conflicts nonetheless dramatically altered the United States’ history. They led to the forced removal of native tribes, ushered in the era of slave-based cotton agriculture in the Old Southwest, secured large portions of the Gulf South against European powers, and launched the career of one of America’s most influential military and political leaders. 

Mike's book list on understanding the Creek War of 1813 to 1814

Mike Bunn Why did Mike love this book?

Weighing in at 466 pages, Weir’s account of this transformative conflict is the most detailed yet published. He describes in-depth both the iconic events which led to the war and the course of its fighting, including the famed Creek conference at Tuckaubatchee at which Tecumseh spoke, the ensuing Creek Civil War, and the vicious fighting between Red Sticks and American forces at places like the Holy Ground, Autossee, Talladega, and finally at Horseshoe Bend—where more Native Americans died than at any other battle in American history.

By Howard T. Weir III,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Paradise of Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1811, a portion of the Creek Indians who inhabited a vast area across Georgia, Alabama, and parts of Florida and Mississippi, interpreted an earth tremor as a sign that they had to return to their traditional way of life. What was an internal Indian dispute soon became engulfed in the greater War of 1812 to become perhaps the most consequential campaign of that conflict. At immediate stake in what became known as the Creek War of 1813-14 was whether the Creeks and their inconstant British and Spanish allies or the young United States would control millions of acres of…


Book cover of Jackson's Sword: The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier, 1810-1821

Brian McAllister Linn Author Of Elvis's Army: Cold War GIs and the Atomic Battlefield

From my list on the peacetime US Army.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of modern (post-1898) American military history who has been fortunate enough to be at a university that supports my research. I have always been fascinated by the “black holes” in military history, the topics that are not glamorous like the big wars, charismatic generals, or Washington-level civil-military relations. This has led me to study such obscure topics as the conquest and pacification of the Philippines, the forty-year plans for Pacific defense prior to World War II, and how military officers have envisioned future war. The peacetime US Army is a terrific “black hole” because so many people, civilians, and military, assume that they already know that history.

Brian's book list on the peacetime US Army

Brian McAllister Linn Why did Brian love this book?

Sam Watson’s two volumes fully integrate the US Army into the history of the Jacksonian Era. These works demonstrate the Army’s vital role in issues as diverse as populism, professionalism, federalism, military policy, and the controversial suppression, dispossession, and forced relocation of Native Americans. His extensively-researched work not only shows the Army’s diplomatic-police role, but why, despite the Jacksonian’s ideological opposition to a standing army, they made it so central to national policy on the frontier.

By Samuel J. Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jackson's Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jackson's Sword is the initial volume in a monumental study that provides a sweeping panoramic view of the U.S. Army and its officer corps from the War of 1812 to the War with Mexico, the first such study in more than forty years. Watson's chronicle shows how the officer corps played a crucial role in stabilising the frontiers of a rapidly expanding nation, while gradually moving away from military adventurism toward a professionalism subordinate to civilian authority.

Jackson's Swordexplores problems of institutional instability, multiple loyalties, and insubordination as it demonstrates how the officer corps often undermined-and sometimes supplanted-civilian authority with…


Book cover of Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Author Of Andrew Jackson, Southerner

From my list on explaining Andrew Jackson.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in Andrew Jackson as an undergraduate student who worked at his Nashville plantation, The Hermitage. Nearly thirty years later, I am still fascinated by Old Hickory. We wouldn’t be friends, and I wouldn’t vote for him, but I consider him essential to understanding the United States’ development between his ascension as a national hero during the War of 1812 and his death in 1845. That we still argue about Jackson’s role as a symbol both of patriotism and of genocide speaks to his enduring significance to the national conversation about what the United States has represented and continues to represent.  

Mark's book list on explaining Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Why did Mark love this book?

There is no question that Remini had a gift for writing, even if he frequently sacrificed analysis for narrative and was often too laudatory of Old Hickory. His multi-volume biography is still considered the standard against which other Jackson biographies are measured, and his influence can even be seen in works by non-historians, such as Jon Meacham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

By Robert V. Remini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Andrew Jackson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

David Fitz-Enz Author Of The Spy on Putney Bridge: A Mystery Novel of Espionage, Murder, and Betrayal in London

From my list on war and warriors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired Army Colonel, paratrooper, and aviator who served four tours in Vietnam as a platoon leader of combat photographers in the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and later as a communication officer in the 1/10 Cavalry Squadron, 4th Infantry Division. Subsequently, I commanded six ties and operated the Moscow Hotline for three Presidents. On retirement, I lectured at the National Archives, Library of Congress, U.S. Naval Museum, and National Army Museum London England. I was also the guest lecturer at the Napoleonic fair, London. I conducted four one-hour television programs on my six books for C-Span Television and appeared on Fox News Network. I was awarded the Distinguished Book Prize from the US Army Historical Foundation and was granted the Military Order of Saint Louis by the Knights Templar, the priory of Saint Patrick, Manhattan, NY for contributions to Military Literature.

David's book list on war and warriors

David Fitz-Enz Why did David love this book?

My first novel, Redcoats’ Revenge, an alternative history of the war of 1812 was a break from the lockstep writing of non-fiction and a relief, in a way. But it became a whole new challenge. A primary character in the book was Andrew Jackson, a man without bounds. I read extensively to find his soul and there it was in Brand’s book.  From his backwoods beginnings to his firebrand speeches in the congress, Bill Brand captures the heart of that warrior. Jackson, a leader we must all emulate, stands out in every crowd as a trailblazer, a warrior, an American frontiersman we all think of when building our own stories. At the end of this volume, you will say to yourself, “what a man”.

By H.W. Brands,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Andrew Jackson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author of The First American comes the first major single-volume biography in a decade of the president who defined American democracy • "A big, rich biography.” —The Boston Globe

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…


Book cover of Vindicating Andrew Jackson: The 1828 Election and the Rise of the Two-Party System

Mark R. Cheathem Author Of Andrew Jackson, Southerner

From my list on explaining Andrew Jackson.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in Andrew Jackson as an undergraduate student who worked at his Nashville plantation, The Hermitage. Nearly thirty years later, I am still fascinated by Old Hickory. We wouldn’t be friends, and I wouldn’t vote for him, but I consider him essential to understanding the United States’ development between his ascension as a national hero during the War of 1812 and his death in 1845. That we still argue about Jackson’s role as a symbol both of patriotism and of genocide speaks to his enduring significance to the national conversation about what the United States has represented and continues to represent.  

Mark's book list on explaining Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Why did Mark love this book?

Cole is an underappreciated historian of the Jacksonian era. Unlike Remini’s classic overview of the 1828 presidential election, which is long on narrative and short on critical analysis, Cole provides a more in-depth examination of one of the dirtiest campaigns in U.S. history. It is the go-to book if you want to understand the inner workings of how Jackson was elected.  

By Donald B. Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vindicating Andrew Jackson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The presidential election of 1828 is one of the most compelling stories in American history: Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and man of the people, bounced back from his controversial loss four years earlier to unseat John Quincy Adams in a campaign notorious for its mudslinging. With his victory, the torch was effectively passed from the founding fathers to the people. This study of Jackson's election separates myth from reality to explain why it had such an impact on present-day American politics. Featuring parades and public participation to a greater degree than had previously been seen,…


Book cover of Young Hickory: The Making of Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Author Of Andrew Jackson, Southerner

From my list on explaining Andrew Jackson.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in Andrew Jackson as an undergraduate student who worked at his Nashville plantation, The Hermitage. Nearly thirty years later, I am still fascinated by Old Hickory. We wouldn’t be friends, and I wouldn’t vote for him, but I consider him essential to understanding the United States’ development between his ascension as a national hero during the War of 1812 and his death in 1845. That we still argue about Jackson’s role as a symbol both of patriotism and of genocide speaks to his enduring significance to the national conversation about what the United States has represented and continues to represent.  

Mark's book list on explaining Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Why did Mark love this book?

Instead of depicting Jackson as a western frontiersman—an interpretation that is no longer tenable given existing scholarship—Booraem situates Jackson within the geographical context of the Carolinas, where he was born and raised. He also destroys many of the myths about Jackson’s childhood, some of which continue to circulate among serious historians even today. No one has done a better job of tracing Jackson’s roots.

By Hendrik Booraem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Young Hickory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on dozens of new sources, celebrated historical biographer Hendrik Booraem illuminates the adventurous, fighting life of the father of the Democratic party. Beginning with the dramatic story of the Jackson-Crawford clan's immigration from Ireland and culminating with Jackson's entrance into the legal world, Young Hickory brings Andrew Jackson into sharp focus by examining the events that made him.


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