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 force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers– that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory. One of our most significant yet dimly recalled presidents, Jackson was a battle-hardened warrior, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the architect of the presidency as we know it. His story is one of violence, sex, courage, and tragedy. With his powerful persona, his evident bravery, and his mystical connection to the people, Jackson moved the White House from the periphery of government to the center of national action, articulating a vision of change that challenged entrenched interests to heed the popular will– or face his formidable wrath. The greatest of the presidents who have followed Jackson in the White House–from Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Truman–have found inspiration in his example, and virtue in his vision. Jackson was the most contradictory of men. The architect of the removal of Indians from their native lands, he was warmly sentimental and risked everything to give more power to ordinary citizens. He was, in short, a lot like his country: alternately kind and vicious, brilliant and blind; and a man who fought a lifelong war to keep the republic safe–no matter what it took.
Andrew Jackson remains one of AmericaÕs most extraordinary, influential and at times controversial leaders, defined by a brilliant military and political career that sought to advance the needs of the common man over those of the entrenched eliteÑin essence, giving rise to the idea of populism. This powerful TIME special edition, Andrew Jackson: An American Populist, examines the seventh president of the United States, his willful and combative style and his enduring legacy, and why it is so resonant today. Born of humble origins and orphaned as a child, Jackson became a lawyer, a brave and heroic general, and a United States senator before winning the presidency by besting John Quincy Adams, who had been born with great privilege. As a two-term president, Jackson distinguished himself with his skill at consensus-building as well as his quest to rout corruption out of the government. He could at times be woefully wrong: brutal in his treatment of American Indians and an unapologetic slave owner until his death. Yet as a gifted and strong-minded political tactician Jackson delivered significant legislative accomplishments, including keeping South Carolina in the union. After his presidency, Jackson retired to his plantation in Tennessee, the Hermitage, where he remained active in politics until he died. JacksonÕs life, actions and legacy are as important today as they were in his time. Through unmatched writing and storytelling as well as remarkable illustrations, Andrew Jackson: An American Populist delivers the full essence of the man.
A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson offers a wealth of new insights on the era of Andrew Jackson. This collection of essays by leading scholars and historians considers various aspects of the life, times, and legacy of the seventh president of the United States. Provides an overview of Andrew Jackson's life and legacy, grounded in the latest scholarship and including original research spread across a number of thematic areas Features 30 essays contributed by leading scholars and historians Synthesizes the most up-to-date scholarship on the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of the Age of Andrew Jackson
This book explores fundamental questions about grand strategy, as it has evolved across generations and countries. It provides an overview of the ancient era of grand strategy and a detailed discussion of its philosophical, military, and economic foundations in the modern era. The author investigates these aspects through the lenses of four approaches - those of historians, social scientists, practitioners, and military strategists. The main goal is to provide contemporary policy makers and scholars with a historic and analytic framework in which to evaluate and conduct grand strategy. By providing greater analytical clarity about grand strategy and describing its nature and its utility for the state, this book presents a comprehensive theory on the practice of grand strategy in order to articulate the United States' past, present, and future purpose and position on the world stage.
Which president broke the law to prevent enslaved people from being freed? Who said, "When the president does it,that means it's not illegal"? Why does America have a president? From the heated debates among the framers of the Constitution in 1787 over an "elected king," to the creation of the presidency, and on through rich profiles of each man who has held the office, New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis takes readers on a guided tour of American history. Examining each chief executive, from the low lights to the bright lights, the memorable to the forgettable and the forgotten, Davis tells all the stories, offering rich anecdotes about real people. He also charts the history of the presidency itself, debunking myths and grading the presidents from A+ to F. For history buffs and history-phobes alike, this entertaining book may change your understanding of the highest office in the land throughout more than two hundred years of history.
The Two Foundings and American Political Development
Author: Elvin T. Lim
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Category: Political Science
The United States has had not one, but two Foundings. The Constitution produced by the Second Founding came to be only after a vociferous battle between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The Federalists favored a relatively powerful central government, while the Anti-Federalists distrusted the concentration of power in one place and advocated the preservation of sovereignty in the states as crucibles of post-revolutionary republicanism -- the legacy of the First Founding. This philosophical cleavage has been at the heart of practically every major political conflict in U.S. history, and lives on today in debates between modern liberals and conservatives. In The Lovers' Quarrel, Elvin T. Lim presents a systematic and innovative analysis of this perennial struggle. The framers of the second Constitution, the Federalists, were not operating in an ideational or institutional vacuum; rather, the document they drafted and ratified was designed to remedy the perceived flaws of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. To decouple the Two Foundings is to appreciate that there is no such thing as "original meaning," only original dissent. Because the Anti-Federalists insisted that prior and democratically sanctioned understandings of federalism and union had to be negotiated and partially grafted onto the new Constitution, the Constitution's Articles and the Bill of Rights do not cohere as well together as has conventionally been thought. Rather, they represent two antithetical orientations toward power, liberty, and republicanism. The altercation over the necessity of the Second Founding generated coherent and self-contained philosophies that would become the core of American political thought, reproduced and transmitted across two centuries, whether the victors were the neo-Federalists (such as during the Civil War and the New Deal) or the neo-Anti-Federalists (such as during the Jacksonian era and the Reagan Revolution). The Second Founding -- the sole "founding" that we generally speak of -- would become a template for the unique, prototypically American species of politics and political debate. Because of it, American political development occurs only after the political entrepreneurs of each generation lock horns in a Lovers' Quarrel about the principles of one of the Two Foundings, and succeed in justifying and forging a durable expansion or contraction of federal authority.
A Companion to the Antebellum Presidents presents a series of original essays exploring our historical understanding of the role and legacy of the eight U.S. presidents who served in the significant period between 1837 and the start of the Civil War in 1861. Explores and evaluates the evolving scholarly reception of Presidents Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan, including their roles, behaviors, triumphs, and failures Represents the first single-volume reference to gather together the historiographic literature on the Antebellum Presidents Brings together original contributions from a team of eminent historians and experts on the American presidency Reveals insights into presidential leadership in the quarter century leading up to the American Civil War Offers fresh perspectives into the largely forgotten men who served during one of the most decisive quarter centuries of United States history
Release on 2018-10-16 | by Jon Meacham,Timothy Naftali,Peter Baker,Jeffrey A. Engel
An American History
Author: Jon Meacham,Timothy Naftali,Peter Baker,Jeffrey A. Engel
Pubpsher: Modern Library
Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today. Impeachment is a double-edged sword. Though it was designed to check tyrants, Thomas Jefferson also called impeachment “the most formidable weapon for the purpose of a dominant faction that was ever contrived.” On the one hand, it nullifies the will of voters, the basic foundation of all representative democracies. On the other, its absence from the Constitution would leave the country vulnerable to despotic leadership. It is rarely used, and with good reason. Only three times has a president’s conduct led to such political disarray as to warrant his potential removal from office, transforming a political crisis into a constitutional one. None has yet succeeded. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for failing to kowtow to congressional leaders—and, in a large sense, for failing to be Abraham Lincoln—yet survived his Senate trial. Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against him for lying, obstructing justice, and employing his executive power for personal and political gain. Bill Clinton had an affair with a White House intern, but in 1999 he faced trial in the Senate less for that prurient act than for lying under oath about it. In the first book to consider these three presidents alone—and the one thing they have in common—Jeffrey A. Engel, Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali, and Peter Baker explain that the basis and process of impeachment is more political than legal. The Constitution states that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” leaving room for historical precedent and the temperament of the time to weigh heavily on each case. This book reveals the complicated motives behind each impeachment—never entirely limited to the question of a president’s guilt—and the risks to all sides. Each case depended on factors beyond the president’s behavior: his relationship with Congress, the polarization of the moment, and the power and resilience of the office itself. This is a realist view of impeachment that looks to history for clues about its potential use in the future.
Spanning the history of American leadership, the book examines all facets of American thought leaders and innovators along with the models of ethics and courage they've provided for the American consciousness. From Thomas Paine to Rosa Parks, the book provides a multi-faceted approach to American leadership studies.
The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Author: Jon Meacham
Pubpsher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this brilliant biography, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • St. Louis Post-Dispatch Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed. His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics. With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it. From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first. Praise for Destiny and Power “Should be required reading—if not for every presidential candidate, then for every president-elect.”—The Washington Post “Reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”—The New York Times Book Review “A fascinating biography of the forty-first president.”—The Dallas Morning News