Review of “Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times” by H.W. Brands

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times” is H.W. Brands’s 2005 biography of our seventh president. Brands is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a prolific author.  He has written nearly thirty books on a wide range of historical topics, including biographies of Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Aaron Burr.  He is also the author of one of my favorite non-biography history books: “Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence.”

Although I find myself somewhat disappointed by this biography of Jackson, it is certainly not without merit.  Indeed, Brands’s biography is a solid, steady exploration of Jackson’s life and its many contradictions and crescendos. However, after reading several earlier biographies of this president, I’m not sure what new insight or analysis Brands offers and, as a result, why a reader new to this president should choose Brands’s biography…

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