The following report of H.W Brands’, Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times, will contain a synopsis of the book and a review of the contents.
Brands brilliantly portrays the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. Jackson is born in the mountains of South Carolina on March 15, 1767. His widowed mother loves him dearly. Jackson fighting in the war against British ignites hate inside Jackson which is ongoing throughout his life. Orphaned at fourteen, he starts studying to be a lawyer. In 1788, he becomes a prosecutor working out of Nashville. Falling in love with the married Rachel Robards, they claim to marry in 1791, before her divorce with Lewis Robards in finalized. In January 1794, they again wed, this time legally. “Jackson made Rachel the emotional center of his universe.” (Page 65). Jackson is selected as Tennessee’s first congressman and in next to no time senator, but resigns in 2 years. Jackson gains national fame as an Indian fighter and as the defender of New Orleans in the ending battle of the War of 1812. President Monroe wants him out of politics, appoints Jackson governor of Florida until the territory is annexed. His plan is to retire and work on his farm, but his followers persuade him that he become president. In the election of 1824, Jackson wins the popular and electoral vote but loses in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams. In the election of 1828, Jackson wins by a landslide. The vicious campaign has Jackson distracted, and Rachel falls sick and dies. Jackson enters the White House with grief. He surprises citizens when he surrounds himself with a “kitchen cabinet” to support him without Rachel. His firm belief in “rotation of office” rather than “permanent tenure” of officials is practiced, dreading that enjoying authority for elongated periods inescapably corrupts.