100 books like The Age of Jackson

By Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,

Here are 100 books that The Age of Jackson fans have personally recommended if you like The Age of Jackson. 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 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 Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian

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 ever thought to yourself, “Wow, Andrew Jackson would be a great candidate for psychotherapy, but no historian would ever actually try to view his life through Freudian analysis,” well, think again.  Psychohistory enjoyed a brief moment in the sun during the 1970s and Rogin’s posthumous placement of Jackson on the couch was one of its shining examples. This book examines Jackson’s childhood trauma and fatherless upbringing as a major factor in his attitude and treatment of Native Americans throughout his life. Readers might find the analysis that dominates the second half of the book to be a bit dated in psychological terms, but Rogin offers a provocative way to explain Jackson’s confusing blend of patronizing and pathology towards Native Americans in the Early American Republic. 

By Michael Paul Rogin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rogin shows us a Jackson who saw the Indians as a menace to the new nation and its citizens. This volatile synthesis of liberal egalitarianism and an assault on the American Indians is the source of continuing interest in the sobering and important book.


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 Prelude to Civil War

Jeanne and David Heidler Author Of Henry Clay: The Essential American

From my list on the USA in its formative years (1789-1845).

Why are we passionate about this?

We have been researching and writing about the Early Republic since graduate school and began collaborating on the period with our first co-authored book, Old Hickory’s War: Andrew Jackson and the Quest for Empire. Though we have occasionally ventured beyond the enthralling events that occurred during those years, mainly by editing books on the Civil War and other topics, we always return to them with relish. We hope you will find the books on our list entertaining as well as informative, thus to whet your appetite for the sumptuous banquet that awaits!

Jeanne's book list on the USA in its formative years (1789-1845)

Jeanne and David Heidler Why did Jeanne love this book?

Though venerable, Freehling’s book remains the standard treatment of this early episode in America’s convulsive sectional crisis. Informed by impeccable research, Freehling depicts the growing tension that pitted hardline states’ rights advocates against resolute nationalists, almost to cause a civil war three decades before it finally happened. Vivid portrayals abound with numerous characters, including the volatile Andrew Jackson and the doctrinaire John C. Calhoun, brought to life in a gemstone of the narrative art.

By William W. Freehling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prelude to Civil War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When William Freehling's Prelude to Civil War first appeared in 1965 it was immediately hailed as a brilliant study of the origins of the American Civil War. Three decades later, its importance remains undiminished and is still considered one of the most significant studies in its field. This vivid description of a society on the brink powerfully conveys the combustive social elements of the Old South, as well as the political manoeuvring and combative
personalities that finally ensured secession and war, and insists upon the central importance of the South's `peculiar institution' in understanding the roots of the Civil War.


Book cover of The Life of Andrew Jackson

Donald R. Hickey Author Of Glorious Victory: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

From my list on understanding the Battle of New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning author and professor of history at Wayne State College in Nebraska. Called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker, I’ve written eleven books and more than a hundred articles, mostly on the War of 1812 and its causes. I didn’t become interested in this battle until well into my academic career, when I decided to turn the series of articles on the War of 1812 that I had written into my first book. I quickly became fascinated by the cast of characters, headed by tough-as-nails Andrew Jackson; Baratarian pirate Jean Laffite; and the British commander, Sir Edward Pakenham, who was the Duke of Wellington’s brother-in-law. No less intriguing was the magnitude of the U.S. victory and the British defeat, the profound and lasting legacy of the battle, and the many popular misconceptions about what actually happened in the battle or what might have happened had the British won.

Donald's book list on understanding the Battle of New Orleans

Donald R. Hickey Why did Donald love this book?

A good place to start for understanding the Battle of New Orleans is a biography of the central character. A life-long student of Jackson, Robert Remini in this work provides a distillation of his 3-volume study on Old Hickory. Readers will learn about Jackson’s contentious early life and rise on the Tennessee frontier, his remarkable success as a general in both the Creek War and the War of 1812, and his postwar career, culminating in his presidency.

By Robert V. Remini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Superb professional history that moves boldly beyond the scholar’s monograph to make the American past alive and exciting for the general reader.” —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

[Remini] has produced a wonderful portrait, rich in detail, of a fascinating and important man and an authoritative . . . . account of his role in American History.” —New York Times Book Review

The classic one-volume abridgement of the definitive, three-volume, National Book Award-winning biography of Andrew Jackson from esteemed historian Robert V. Remini.


Book cover of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

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?

A number of books explain the world in which Jackson came to national recognition, but Howe’s provides a decidedly critical view of Old Hickory and his politics. He is clearly sympathetic to the Whigs, opponents of Jackson and his Democratic party; nevertheless, Howe’s book is a good starting point for a broader perspective on Jacksonian America.

By Daniel Walker Howe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked What Hath God Wrought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent. Howe's panoramic narrative portrays revolutionary
improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the…


Book cover of War and State Formation in Syria: Cemal Pasha's Governorate During World War I, 1914-1917

Cigdem Oguz Author Of Moral Crisis in the Ottoman Empire: Society, Politics, and Gender During WWI

From my list on the Middle East during the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Studying unexplored topics has always fascinated me as a historian. Some overlooked aspects in history might shed a new light on many things that we consider obvious. I studied the Ottoman home front during the First World War from an unusual perspective by taking up the concept of moral crisis. Until very recently, talking about the First World War in the Middle East meant talking about only the European side of the story such as the famous “Lawrence of Arabia” and/or only political events that were attached to the Anglo-British rivalry. Instead, we need a “new” history of this watershed event that takes the local aspects into consideration. After all, the Great War was the most remarkable moment in the history of the Middle East which shaped its modern dynamics.

Cigdem's book list on the Middle East during the First World War

Cigdem Oguz Why did Cigdem love this book?

Based on a wide array of archival sources, the book discusses the Ottoman governance of Greater Syria during the First World War. During the war, the Ottoman government-appointed Cemal Pasa, one of the chief names of the ruling Committee of Union and Progress, as the commander of the Fourth Army and the military governor of Ottoman Arab provinces to lead a campaign against in the British-held Suez Canal. However, in addition to the military aim of this appointment, there was also a political and social one that can briefly be summarized as further centralization of the state through the “iron fist” of the governor. The book presents us the power struggle in the region between the Ottoman government, Arab leaders, Zionists, and the Central Powers (the allies of the Ottoman Empire during the war) who attempted to increase their influence in the region after the British and French were declared…

By M. Talha Çiçek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War and State Formation in Syria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the First World War, Cemal Pasha attempted to establish direct control over Syrian and thereby reaffirm Ottoman authority there through various policies of control, including the abolishment of local intermediaries.

Elaborating on these Ottoman policies of control, this book assesses Cemal Pasha's policies towards different political groups in Syrian society, including; Arabists, Zionists, Christian clergymen and Armenian immigrants. The author then goes on to analyse Pasha's educational activities, the conscription of Syrians- both Muslim and Christian, and the reconstruction of the major Syrian cities, assessing how these policies contributed to his attempt to create ideal Ottoman citizens.

An important…


Book cover of Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe, 1904-1914

Gordon Martel Author Of The Origins of the First World War

From my list on why the First World War happened.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of diplomacy, war, and empire. A founding editor of The International History Review, I have written books on ‘Imperial Diplomacy’, on the origins of the First World War, and on the July Crisis. I have edited: the 5-volume Encyclopedia of War and the 4-volume Encyclopedia of Diplomacy; the journals of A.L. Kennedy for the Royal Historical Society; numerous collections of essays, and the multi-volume Seminar Studies in History series. I am currently working on a two-volume study of Political Intelligence in Great Britain, 1900-1950, which is a group biography of the men who made up the Department of Political Intelligence in Britain, 1917-1919

Gordon's book list on why the First World War happened

Gordon Martel Why did Gordon love this book?

One of the most popular explanations for the outbreak of war between 1918 and 1939 was that it had been caused by the ‘Merchants of Death,’ i.e. the large armaments firms and their financiers who profited from international animosity. Although the conspiracy theory tendency in this belief gradually dissipated, the idea that the arms race was a significant contributory factor leading to war has long featured on any list of ‘causes’.

David Stevenson’s exhaustive research in the archives of most of the combatant states has provided us with massive and fascinating detail on the thinking of those involved and the relationship between geopolitical ambitions, strategic calculations, and financial realities. His treatment makes for fascinating reading, enhanced by crisply argued interpretations of the role of military and naval preparedness in the crises that plagued prewar Europe.

By David Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Armaments and the Coming of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The global impact of the First World War dominated the history of the first half of the twentieth century. This major reassessment of the origins of the war, based on extensive original research in several countries, is the first full analysis of the politics of armaments in pre-1914 Europe.

David Stevenson directs attention away from the Anglo-German naval race towards the competition on land between the continental armies. He analyses the defence policies of the Powers, and the interaction between the growth of military preparedness and the diplomatic crises in the Mediterranean and the Balkans that culminated in the events…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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