Passions and Jackson

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What transformed a frontier bully into the seventh president of the United States? A southerner obsessed with personal honor who threatened his enemies with duels to the death, a passionate man who fled to Spanish Mississippi with the love of his life before she was divorced, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee left a vast personal correspondence detailing his stormy relationship What transformed a frontier bully into the seventh president of the United States?

A southerner obsessed with personal honor who threatened his enemies with duels to the death, a passionate man who Passions and Jackson to Spanish Mississippi with the love of his life before she was divorced, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee left a vast personal correspondence detailing his stormy relationship with the world of early America. He helped shape the American personality, yet he remains largely unknown to most modern readers. Most people vaguely imagine Andrew Jackson as a jaunty warrior and man of the people, when he was much more: a power monger whom voters thought they could not do without—a man just as complex and controversial as Jefferson or Lincoln.

Declared a national hero upon his stunning victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans, this uncompromising soldier capitalized on his fame and found the presidency within his grasp. Yet Burstein shows that Jackson had conceived no political direction for the country.

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He was virtually uneducated, having grown up in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas. His ambition to acquire wealth and achieve prominence was matched only by his confidence that he alone could restore virtue to American politics. He lost the election of on a technicality, owing to the manipulations of Henry Clay.

Jackson partisans ran him again, with a vengeance, so that he became, from toa Passions and Jackson bent on shaping the country to his will. Over two terms, he secured a reputation for opposing the class of moneyed men. To his outspoken critics, he was an elected tyrant. Yet due to his famous temper, Jackson ultimately lost his closest confidants to the opposition party. This is the dynamic story of a larger-than-life American brought down to his authentic earthiness and thoughtfully demythologized. In a provocative conclusion, Burstein relates Jackson to the presidents with whom he was and still is often compared, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Get A Copy. Hardcovers. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please up. To ask other readers questions about The Passions of Andrew Jacksonplease up. Be the first to ask a question about The Passions of Andrew Jackson. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Passions of Andrew Jackson. Apr 26, Bill rated it really liked it.

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I've had this book for years and put off reading it til now - I guess I was a little wary of the analytical approach, the mixed reviews and the fact that I've found some of Burstein's other books to be kind of annoyingly pretentious at times. So I'm surprised that I actually kind of liked this.

It re like an analytical biography Passions and Jackson it proceeds chronologically and hits all the highlights you'd expect in a book about Andrew Jackson, but pauses to ponder and deconstruct events and Jackson's thinki I've had this book for years and put off reading it til now - I guess I was a little wary of the analytical approach, the mixed reviews and the fact that I've found some of Burstein's other books to be kind of annoyingly pretentious at times.

It re like an analytical biography - it proceeds chronologically and hits all the highlights you'd expect in a book about Andrew Jackson, but pauses to ponder and deconstruct events and Jackson's thinking at key moments. Jackson had such an action-packed life, it's easy to fill a book just by reciting things that happened and things he did. So I appreciated Burstein's efforts to be more thoughtful and analyze Jackson's actions, motivations and relationships before moving on to the next big event. To offer just one example, in discussing Jackson's character as it pertains to his attitude toward Native Americans, Burstein offers the provocative observation that Jackson was more like the Native Americans than he might have realized - Jackson, like "the Indian, deemed 'wild' or 'savage,' was as often praised for exhibiting bravery and stoicism, and ennobled for his resistance to the corruptions of civilization," yet "the image of the Indian as 'lordly savage,' the unrestrained, amoral son of the forest who was not rule-bound But most of the analysis is thoughtful rather than eyeroll-inducing.

Burstein takes care to consider the sources when recounting familiar events in Jackson's life, pointing out when certain versions may be embellished or unreliable. And while most Jackson biographies swiftly wrap things up with his death, Burstein continues on, considering his legacy, his strengths and weaknesses, and thought-provokingly comparing and contrasting Jackson with fellow Passions and Jackson George Washington and fellow advocate for the common man Thomas Jefferson.

This is not the first or only book to read about Andrew Jackson. If you're familiar with his life story, this book will retell the same events but from a unique perspective. I can't necessarily say I learned anything brand new - I mean, let's face it, as compared to his presidential predecessors, Jackson was not a deep and complicated guy - but this is a worthy and contemplative book that avoids getting bogged down in dates and places and events, and instead offers plenty of thoughts that will make you consider "who" Jackson was instead of just "what" he did.

View all 4 comments. Jun 14, Glenn Robinson rated it liked it. An interesting bio of a very complicated man. Not the best and far from the most indepth. This one seems to concentrate on his relationships with his wife, his close associates, distant associates and enemies. Much of what made him known or infamous was left out: nothing on the Trail of Tears, one paragraph on the banking system and little about many other aspects of his life from on.

What was good was the emphasis on his early life up tobut this could all be gained from other bio's. The author neither hero worhsipped him or completely condemned him, so it was somewhat even keeled.

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Burstein seemed to relish his accomplishments while also pointing out many incidences that showed what a dark man Jackson was numerous duels, beatings and executions. This is ok if you want to learn more and have already read up on Jackson. Pass if you are looking to learn a great deal. Jan 24, Wayne rated it did not like it. Oct 04, Joseph Belser rated it it was ok. The author strives to make Jackson more "knowable" through his personal letters with close friends.

I'm not sure if I got any more insight into who Jackson actually was through the author's painstaking analysis and interpretation of various letters and communications. If the argument was that he was a "passionate" man, then I got Passions and Jackson in eighth grade social studies.

The last part of the book was curious. Burstein argues that the nation needed enemies in order to exercise a complete hegemony over The author strives to make Jackson more "knowable" through his personal letters with close friends. Burstein argues that the nation needed enemies in order to exercise a complete hegemony over the continent and that Jackson was the embodiment of that. I'm not sure that hegemony is a virtue.

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I'm not sure that the concept of manifest destiny was virtuous. However, Burstein seems convinced that they were. To him, this is why Andrew Jackson was the man who was willing to "take on the world" to enact "dominion over the national household" and strove to be the "unerring father who rewarded loyalty and love and punished all moral transgressions.

Having said that, I'm confident that I would've been an Adams man. This book didn't convince me otherwise. Nov 17, Caleb Diffell rated it really liked it. Interesting and unconventional overview of Jackson's life. The focus is on his personality, as often revealed in his correspondence. One thing that constantly amazed me was how well the picture of Jackson's personality fit Trump this book was written in so could not have anticipated Trump's presidency. Jackson's own ferocious denunciations of his critics as villains and scoundrels, along with his inability to spell correctly, could almost be Trump's rage tweets.

It's uncanny. There is a l Interesting and unconventional overview of Jackson's life. There is a lot in common between them including raging against "elites" that could profitably be explored in a few years after Trump passes off the scene. I may be overdoing the similarities here, but given everything going on in our nation here in Novemberit's worth memorializing these reflections! Feb 21, Larry rated it it was ok. A bit of a pyscho-history of Jackson A good read if you consider Jackson, as I do, one of the necessary figures to understand in American history. Rich in detail.

May 30, Dann Zinke rated it it was ok Shelves: history-biography. Was kind of a drag by the end. Apr 07, Robin rated it really liked it. I admit that I knew very little about Andrew Jackson before this book--I thought of him as an 's version of Donald Trump--plain-spoken, inexplicably popular, and not equipped to be President.

As are most things in this world, I was neither completely correct nor completely wrong. Burstein's goal with this book was to try to sift through the very polarizing biographical information about Jackson folks either see him as a remarkable president or the an example of the very worst president and I admit that I knew very little about Andrew Jackson before this book--I thought of him as an 's version of Donald Trump--plain-spoken, inexplicably popular, and not equipped to be President. Burstein's goal with this book was to try Passions and Jackson sift through the very polarizing biographical information about Jackson folks either see him as a remarkable president Passions and Jackson the an example of the very worst president and try to understand his "passions"--an 's meaning of the word, meaning what drove and inflamed him, as opposed to the more romantic meaning with which we are more familiar.

And, in this, Burstein succeeds. From his own writings and the writings of those who knew him--the real him, not the idealized version--he was a direct hot-head consumed with both honor and making his mark on the world. He was also a magnetic presence who drew young, talented men to his side--but repelled most of them eventually, as Jackson's friendship demanded complete obedience, and any deviation from that was not just a betrayal of him but of America.

Although I really felt like I understood the historical Jackson, Burstein's choice to focus on studying the Passions and Jackson of Jackson sacrificed biographical information, as well as a clear narrative. There were chapters that highlighted events in Jackson's life but flipped-flopped between them, confusing the timeline.

Also, the chapter focusing on his presidency was very weak on information--I would have preferred to learn more about Jackson's fight against the bank and other policy decisions rather than his inner cabinet squabbles. Still, Burstein's biography is well-written and well-researched, and I enjoyed learning about the good his high respect for women and deep love for his wife, his loyalty to the soldiers he managedthe bad the Trail of Tears, the martial law he issued in Floridaand the ugly I lost track of the of duels he participated in, tried to start, encouraged others to start Nuance is not this book's forte.

Burstein conceives of Andrew Jackson as an obsessively driven, insanely energetic and tempestuously passionate man, and it is this conception through which every other aspect of Jackson's life is filtered and interpreted.

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Jackson is posited as the new style of president, a violent change from the patrician gentility and cultured intellectualism of Washington and Jefferson. In this new populist, pioneering, self-reliant and self-aggrandizing mode, Burstein perceiv Nuance is not this book's forte.

Passions and Jackson

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THE PASSIONS OF ANDREW JACKSON