Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer. The author of the New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Franklin and Winston, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, and The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, he is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, a contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review, and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. Meacham lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children.
Newsweek editor Meacham (Franklin and Winston) presents in this elegantly written and fascinating biography the life story of the President credited with the first major expansion of executive power. It is a work made all the more compelling by Richard McGonagle's (www.richardmcgonagle.com) strong narration. Recommended for all general collections. [Audio clip available through library.booksontape.com; the Random hc, published in November 2008, was a New York Times best seller.-Ed.]-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"What passes for political drama today pales in the reading of Jon
Meacham's vividly-told story of our seventh president. The
rip-roaring two-fisted man of the people, duelist, passionate
lover, gambler and war hero, was also a prime creator of the
presidency as the fulcrum of executive power to defend
democracy...Meacham argues that Jackson should be in the pantheon
with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln for this and for his role in
preserving the Union and rescuing democracy from elitism. He makes
the historian's case with wit and scholarship but Meacham also has
the novelist's art of enthralling the general reader much as David
McCullough did for the lesser figure of John Adams. Reading
"American Lion" one is no longer able to look on the gaunt, craggy
face on the $20 bill without hearing the tumult of America in the
"Jon Meacham's splendid new book on Andrew Jackson shrewdly
places presidential politics in the context of Jackson's family
life -- and vice versa. With an abundance of gripping stories, and
with admirable fairness, Meacham offers a fresh portrait of one of
the most controversial and consequential men ever to occupy the
--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln "Every so often a terrific biography comes along that shines a new light on a familiar figure in American history. So it was with David McCullough and John Adams, so it was with Walter Isaacson and Benjamin Franklin, so it is with Jon Meacham and Andrew Jackson. A master storyteller, Meacham interweaves the lives of Jackson and the members of his inner circle to create a highly original book."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln "In magnificent prose, enriched by the author's discovery of new research materials, Jon Meacham has written an engrossing and original study of the life of Andrew Jackson. He provides new insights into Jackson's emotional and intellectual character and personality, and describes life in the White House in a unique and compelling way. Scrupulously researched and vividly written, this book is certain to attract a large and diverse reading public."
--Robert V. Remini, National Book Award-winning historian and biographer of Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster
"Finally, a book that explains our nation's most enigmatic hero, a man who was revered and reviled and little understood. Jon Meacham brilliantly takes us inside the family circle that sustained Andrew Jackson's presidency and provided his steadiness of faith. It's a vivid, fascinating human drama, and Meacham shows how the personal was interwoven with the political. Jackson presided over the birth of modern politics, and this book's brew of patriotism and religion and populism tastes very familiar. In helping us understand Jackson, Meacham helps us understand America."
--Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life "American Lion is a spellbinding, brilliant and irresistible journey into the heart of Andrew Jackson and his unforgettable circle of friends and enemies. With narrative energy, flash and devotion to larger issues that are truly Jacksonian, Jon Meacham reveals Old Hickory's complicated inner life and recreates the excitement of living in Jackson's Washington. Most of all, Meacham's important book shows us how the old hero transformed both the American Presidency and the nation he led."
-Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 "An admiring, vividly composed portrait, full of colorful anecdotes and sentimental personal detail. Andrew Jackson's presidency remains controversial; but even those who, like myself, prefer John Quincy Adams's statesmanship to that of Old Hickory will find themselves engaged by Jon Meacham's skillful narrative."
--Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History 2008