Review of “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” by Jon Meacham

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” is author Jon Meacham’s fourth book. Published in 2008, this biography of President Jackson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Meacham has also written about Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and more recently authored a best-selling biography of Thomas Jefferson.

Meacham’s “American Lion” is currently the most popular biography (by a wide margin) of this complex, animated, strong-willed and occasionally insufferable president. Based on its popular acclaim, and as the last of a half-dozen biographies of Jackson I planned to read, I’ve long looked forward to the opportunity to experience this biography for myself.  In the end, though, I came away somewhat disappointed.

At a high level, Meacham’s biography seems to lack an overarching thesis or theme.  There is no punch-line, no core message and no lofty judgment of Jackson’s success (or failure) as president – or as…

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