ANDREW JACKSON by Milton Meltzer


and His America
Age Range: 11 & up
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A scathing portrayal of the man who presided over an era when slavery became more deeply entrenched, Native-Americans were hounded from their eastern homelands, and US citizens flooded Texas in anticipation of its annexation. The dueling pistols featured on the jacket, along with the chapter headings, underline Meltzer's theme: the feisty orphan, quick to defend his honor against any offense, matured to become an autocrat who won power via a charismatic personality and such happenstance as being proclaimed hero of the Battle of New Orleans through no particular merit. As he did in Columbus (1990) and Thomas Jefferson (1991), Meltzer points out the ongoing significance of events and builds his central portrait with a wealth of vivid, concrete detail; but though he also sees slaveholder and Indian- fighter Jackson as a product of his times, he has virtually no sympathy for him: from appointing Roger Taney (of Dred Scott notoriety) to the Supreme Court to his role in the demise of the Second Bank of the United States, Meltzer depicts Jackson as a propagandist who posed as the workingman's friend while consistently, and often illegally, undermining his interests. No specific citations for quotes, but the author provides an excellent essay on his sources and a good selection of maps and period art, posters, etc. (though some of the cartoons are too small and dark to read). (Biography. 11+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-11157-1
Page count: 208pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993


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