Friday, June 09, 2006

Action Jackson

I just finished the Sean Wilentz's bio on Andrew Jackson. It's a short book at 160 pages in the American Presidents series. The books are short introductions to each President written by a respected historian. I liked this one quite a bit more than the one of FDR. I think these books are best approached if you have limited knowledge on the subject. I'm reasonably well read in the New Deal and World War 2, which made the FDR volume less interesting, as it had to condense the story to the basic details. Jackson, on the other hand, was more of a mystery to me, so the book was helpful.

I liked the fact that Wilentz did not judge the President by current standards, but by those of the day, which tempers his repuation on the Trail of Tears. Unfortunately, a lot of coverage is given to the fight between Jackson and the proponents of the Second Bank of the United States. I understand that crisis much better now, and have a much better understanding of the import (I always assumed it the Bank was more like the Fed rather than the chartered bank it was,) but it is still a rather dry subject. At this length, a little boring is OK though.

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