From the list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.
Who am I?
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
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.