Saturday, August 8, 2009

American Lion: Review

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham is about Jackson and all the players of his White House years.

Meacham focuses on Jackson's interaction with family, friends and enemies. He also talked about the three controversial policies that Jackson was involved in, Indian Policies, breaking the Bank of the United States, and nullification of South Carolina (how he prevented a civil war).

I have read other reviews that did not like how much time Meacham spent on the Eaton scandal. I found it thought-provoking. I feel it shows the mind set of the time. As well as how the wives/women of the men in power can control things. The Eaton Scandal shows what can happen when people are frozen out of the Social Circle and how it effected other things-policy making, decision making.

My first thought when I read American Lion was that the more things change the more they stay the same esp in politics. In some ways it was like I was reading about a modern Presidential campaign as well as a modern Presidency.

Even though Jackson is known for his bad temper, American Lion shows another side of Jackson, his gentle side. He was really cared for his family especially the children and his close friends.

I found Meacham's writing style to be choppy. I felt that the story of Jackson could have flowed better. There were times that I felt Meacham was ahead of the story and then he would jump back. This style was difficult for me to read.

Meacham said in his author's note "I have attempted to paint a biographical portrait of Jackson and of many people who lived and worked with him in his tumultuous years in power." I think he accomplished this.

Even though it took me a long time to read and I found the writing style choppy, I kept wanting to find out more about Jackson and the personalities that surrounded him during the his presidential years.

3.5 stars Over all I found this book interesting. I just had difficulty with the writing style. If you had read this book what did you think especially about the writing style.

For more info about this book and the author visit my book spotlight on American Lion

Happy Reading


Beth F said...

Interesting review. I have read other books by Meacham and didn't notice a choppy style. I own this book and hope I find it a bit easier going than you did.

Pabast said...

This is why I wanted to know what others think. Because I am not sure if it was just me or what. I still liked the book even though the writing was difficult for me It would have gotten a 4 stars if I did not find the writing style so choppy.