Andrew Jackson bleg

What should I read about him and his administration?  I thank you all in advance for your suggestions.



I wouldn't recommend going into a topic with that as your starting mind set. It's probably not going to be fun or informative.

I enjoyed this biography by the way, however, I don't have enough knowledge to judge it's academic merit:

Bleg is a compound of blog and beg, not an otomatapia expressing distaste. It hasn't been too popular recently, but comes up, frequently just before a trip to a new city.

Jon Meacham's "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House" from 2008. I have not personally read it but it is on my list to read.

I'm slowly reading this book on Kindle now, have had it for almost a year (it anticipated the Clinton-Trump election):

Parsons, Lynn Hudson. The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (Pivotal Moments in American History) (p. 32). Oxford University Press.

I imagine you've read Tocqueville.

The Life of Andrew Jackson: Major-General in the Service of the United States: Comprising a History of the War in the South, from the Commencement of the Creek Campaign, To the Termination of the Hostilities Before New Orleans


John Spencer Bassett: The Life of Andrew Jackson

Wasn't Arthur Schlesinger Jr's PhD thesis on Andrew Jackson and his administration?

As an anti-Schlesingerite, I say skip it, either way.

Schlesinger's "Age of Jackson" is from 1945 and paints him as a proto- new dealer

I think they made us read it in high school.

I have biographies by Robert Remini of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson and the only one of the biographies I don't like so much is the last one -- but the other two are probably an essential guide to the administration too. I have a couple bios of John Quincy Adams -- by Nagel and by Kaplan -- who by any reckoning ought to be more fun to read about and is also informative about the time. Jackson makes an intriguing cameo in Nancy Isenberg's biography of Aaron Burr, too.

The Arte of the Deale?

Dammit I came here to say this!

+$1 from the First Bank of the United States

+1 1837 Seated Liberty Dime. (I can't afford any high falootin dollar).

Of course, people have even stronger and more opposing views about Jackson than they do about Trump. Meacham's biography of Jackson gets lots of attention and overall very good reviews, but I will point out that Meacham is/was a journalist not a historian and takes a positive (rather than critical) view of his subjects (including in his biography of Mr. Jefferson). Jackson's brutality both in the treatment of his own slaves and in the treatment of native Americans while serving in office make it very difficult to accept the goodness of the man. A critical biography, therefore, may not provide the insight that Meacham's does; one doesn't need to read a critical biography to know that Jackson was a despicable human being. .

>Jackson was a despicable human being...

And founder of the Democrat party. How about that?

Google the term 'political realignment'

OJ doesn't use that liberal, California fake news nonsense.

The chapter on the Borderers in Albion's Seed, and then the page or two about the Jackson administration in the final chapter.

What a clever recommendation. Albion's Seed is a terrific book and the part on the Scots and Irish from the Borderlands was most stirring. Good context for Hillbilly Elegy and the aggressive populist strain in the American psyche that helped create this nation. Now often ignored in the era where the summa bonum is equality.

Remini's three-volume biography is still probably the finest academic treatment of Jackson's life. But there are two syntheses of his times that you might get more out of. Sean Wilentz's The Rise of American Democracy and Daniel Walker Howe's What Hath God Wrought. Both are by accomplished senior historians, but they take very different views of Jackson and his project (basically Wilentz praises it and Howe critiques it). Howe's book is better in important ways, I think (far more serious about engaging with the relevant literature for one thing). But Wilentz's attempt to find a 'usable past' in Jacksonism looks quite different in the aftermath of the last election.

Hello, I've read your book "War of a Thousand Deserts", very smart, fair-minded and interesting. I will have a look at the two books you recommend to Tyler.

Seconding the recommendation of Wilentz and Howe. I've also read and learned from Andrew Burstein's *Passions of Andrew Jackson* and H. W. Brands's *Andrew Jackson: A Life and Times*. (Second the praise for *War of a Thousand Deserts* as well...)

Third on Howe, have not read Wilentz. As a work not so much dedicated to Jackson as his time, it may be worth observing the reaction to Jacksonianism. In Howe's "The Political Culture of the American Whigs" he uses the image of Lyman Beecher giving a speech in Massachusetts, promoting public education (with express or subtle anti-Catholic asides), while at the same time across town, a Catholic convent and school was being burned down. These were the two faces of anti-Jacksonian America, the middle-class, respectable "Jonathons" and the working-class "Sammies" who were unwilling to simply turn the other cheek in response to provocation and rising social and economic anxiety.

Further endorsing the recommendation of Howe. Also, his notes and bibliography will furnish a guide to sources on particular topics which you may want more in-depth information.

never posted on here before but 100% agree; Wilentz is more of a slog than Howe, but as a point/counterpoint pair of surveys of America between 1812 and the beginnings of the secession crisis, these would qualify as "comprehensive".

Howe is the third of four pre-20th century installments of the Oxford History of the United States, and all of them are amazing.

Yet another endorsement of Howe - his 4(?) chapters on Jackson in What Hath God Wrought are excellent.

Hated the Howe book.

Brings way to much of the modern culture war back to a place where it doesn't belong.

I say we make amends and return to proceeds of the Mexican War.

The 3-volume set by Remini is the best.

I found the Corrupt Bargain of 1824 interesting, though it's technically not during his administration

"Young Hickory" by Hendrick Booraem

It is very short and seems rather limited, but it places the man in his own imagined context brilliantly and it would also reward patented Tyler Cowen reading techniques.

It only covers his parents coming to America his childhood and his admission to the bar in NC, and is resolutely uninterested in theorizing. But it made the man come alive when I read it, you saw this extremely bright very poor kid raised by a widowed mother living as poor relations, and then watch him lose everything in the Revolution.

It seems to obsess on details, but on reading the bigger books, esp. Remini, you find those are the details that obsessed Jackson till his dying breath.

"The Petticoat Affair" by John Marszalek for treatment of a salacious scandal in the AJ White House. And Parton's 19th century biography is worth reading if you're going in-depth. Very different style and tone that modern readers are used to.

Can you post your consensus result?

A unique perspective would be the musical "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson". The opening numbers is "Populism, Yea Yea". Very apropos for today's environment.

You might begin with Sean Wilentz's Andrew Jackson, part of a series of concise bios of the presidents. At 195 pages you can digest the basic framework in a long afternoon, then start in on the weightier volumes others have recommended. I also second celestus's nod to Albion's Seed

I think it's best to read Sean Wilentz's "Rise of American Democracy" that covers the whole period to the dawn of the Civil War. I think you have to put all of what was happening in a greater context.

I eventually made it through Wilentz's masterpiece but it was a long slog. It's an academic book (with lots of footnotes, and detail that I didn't really need to know but was surprised to learn (such as people and places that were agitators)) as opposed to a popular book of history, so it may appeal to Cowen. I never quite understood the title. Was Wilentz being ironic? Probably not, but as has become apparent today, the American version of "democracy" isn't really democracy. For those who don't follow such things, Wilentz was a frequent and harsh critic of Mr. Obama and supporter of Ms. Clinton.

Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

A treatment of the Jackson presidency comparable to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals

I liked HW Brands "Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times". It's well written by a distinguished historian.

This is an enjoyable website, though I cannot voice an opinion on those particular Jackson books, I've used its recommendations for other Presidents.

I just finished American Lion. It provided a good summary of the administration, but was a dry read.

The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the American Civil War by Michael F. Holt, while focused on Jackson mainly through the lens of the Whig party's formation, does a detailed job of positioning Jackson & his political movement in the broader political context of America, as well as the movement's effects on the state-level. He also analyzes how local and state factors changed the party platforms, and how both Whigs and Democrats defined themselves through opposition to each other as well as through specific policy. Finally, Holt examines how issues like patronage and personal enmity/rivalry shaped the parties' responses to issues such as slavery and the annexation of Texas.

Holt also marshals the available statistics on voter participation, state by state and election year by election year, as a further inducement to an economist.


I'd also recommend Andrew Burstein's Passions of Andrew Jackson, which will seem especially relevant given present circumstances.


The bibliography of "The President's lady " by Irving Stone

The Jacksonian economy by Peter Temin, of course.

Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law Nationalism, Civil Liberties, and Partisanship []. The title of this excellent book says all you need to know about its relevance to today.

You might find that spending 40 minutes or so reading "New Orleans 1815" from Osprey Publishing will help you see Jackson in the way he saw himself - once one leads men in battle, one tends to see oneself as a leader of men. with all the invigorating and sometimes deforming results of that type of pride. (Same is true for rock stars, unfortunately - once one has a hit or two, one thinks that one is a rock star - but that is another subject). While Jackson's military career is probably covered brilliantly in several other places, it focuses the mind to see someone like Jackson treated as simply a military leader in one short little book devoted to nothing more than one of his major battles and those who participated in that battle. (Here ends the Andrew Jackson part of this comment ....) ..... There are several good military history publishing houses, but I seem to have gotten used to the Osprey titles. Some of my other favorite Osprey titles that might be of interest to MR readers are Mark Stille's Singapore-Malysia 1941-42 and his Midway (Singapore being a recurrent theme here, at least in Tyler's posts, and Midway featuring Raymond Spruance, an inspiration for Dr Spock and indirectly for guys like Krugman and Larry Summers and several talented economics Nobelists and their ilk), the Battle of the Marne (for the Fournier and Peguy echoes), the first day of the Somme (Tolkien, Lewis, Graves, and several other major poets were there), Austerlitz (War and Peace), Crete in WWII (Waugh's Sword of Honor), and, with the closest tie-in to marginal revolution type economics that I can think of, English Dreadnought v German Dreadnought (game theory in the age of Marshall) (also by Mark Stille), which should be read in conjunction with Jutland, also by Mark Stille (I have never met Mark Stille by the way). For what its worth, WF Buckley, a famous proto-blogger on economics, in one of his memoirs, said that one of the best lectures he heard in his years at Yale was the Jutland lecture from a history professor. Also FWIW, if you donate an Osprey title to a library sale within a year or so after buying them and reading them (they are basically single-issue single-topic magazines, after all, and there is no real need to collect them, you can always reacquire them if the need arises), there is a near 100 percent chance the title will be gladly bought by the end of the day.

The Age of Jackson, Andrew Jackson by Wilitz (sp?), Wrought Hath God Wrought and The Throes of Democracy.

Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of The American Revolution, for Jackson's precedents.

"No doubt the cost that America paid for this democracy was high--with its vulgarity, its materialism, its rootlessness, its anti-intellectualism. But there is no denying the wonder of it and the real earthly benefits it brought to the hitherto neglected and despised masses of common laboring people. The American Revolution created this democracy, and we are living with its consequences still."

Maybe also Eric Foner, *Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men,* especially the chapters on nativism and ex-Democrats/Jacksonians in the Republican Party. "[T]he fundamental achievement of the Republican party before the Civil War [was] the creation and articulation of an ideology which blended personal and sectional interest with morality so perfectly that it became the most potent political force in the nation."

HW Brands' Andrew Jackson is an excellent one volume biography. Meacham's book is considerably overrated, and doesn't give enough space to Jackson's fascinating, more relevant pre-presidential life. Ultimately, Jackson's ideas were better executed in the Polk presidency than his own.

This song is said to be historically accurate, especially the part about gators ;-). I loved this song as a kid.

The Battle of New Orleans, In 1814

Overall for the period I would check out Walter McDougall's book Throes of Democracy. It starts with Andrew Jackson's inauguration and ends in 1876..

Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep

American Lion was excellent

You might like to listen to music from 2012 rock opera "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson" in the spare time between reading useful things.

Just came here to suggest the same thing!

"The Significance of Jacksonian Democracy" in New Viewpoints in American History - Arthur Schlesinger, Sr.

His son (Jr.) published some too.

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