The Age of Jackson

The Age of Jackson The Young Schlesinger, For All The Tradition He Embodied, Had A Refreshing Streak Of Informality While Working In The Kennedy White House, He Found Time To Review Movies For Show Magazine He Also Admitted His Mistakes One, He Said, Was Neglecting To Mention President Jackson S Brutal Treatment Of The Indians In His Pulitzer Prize Winning Age Of Jackson It Was Published When He Was , And Is Still Standard Reading The Book Rejected Earlier Interpretations Linking The Rise Of Jacksonian Democracy With Westward Expansion Instead, It Gave Greater Importance To A Coalition Of Intellectuals And Workers In The Northeast Who Were Determined To Check The Growing Power Of Business The Book Sold Than , Copies In Its First Year And Won The Pulitzer Prize For History

Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger, was a Pulitzer Prize recipient and American historian and social critic whose work explored the liberalism of American political leaders including Franklin D Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, and Robert F Kennedy He served as special assistant and court historian to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963 He wrote a detailed account of

➫ [Ebook] ➦ The Age of Jackson By Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. ➶ – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Hardcover
  • 576 pages
  • The Age of Jackson
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
  • English
  • 23 January 2019
  • 9781568524368

10 thoughts on “The Age of Jackson

  1. says:

    One might assume that working as an intelligence analyst in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II would leave one little time for much else Yet Arthur Schlesinger managed to pen the Pulitzer Prize winning The Age of Jackson during his two year stint with the CIA precursor, published in 1945 Schlesinger would go on to become one of the most influential and recognizable historians of the twentieth century, rubbing shoulders with presidents and even becoming Kennedy s so called court historian He would even win a second Pulitzer in 1965 for A Thousand Days John F Kennedy in the White House The Age of Jackson is really a biography of an idea, focusing on the concept of Jacksonian democracy as it influenced politics, culture, and identity in antebellum America Schlesinger succeeds in bringing the era and its players into action in a lively, approachable way, and reveals how this new brand of democracy permeated every facet of society It was, as Schlesinger shows it, a movement to protect or empower the laboring classes against the wealthy elites who sought to exploit and disenfranchise them One of the book s central arguments is the refutation of the thesis that Jacksonian democracy s roots laid in the frontier West Schlesinger calls this a legend and instead convincingly argues that the idea was potent to northern states where there had been a long established wealthy class 307.Schlesinger is a gifted writer and clearly knows his time period, but The Age of Jackson is a work of popular scholarship, intended for an educated general readership embroiled in a war against fascism The book is rife with conjectural details used to spice up the narrative quality of the text, such as when Van Buren entered, his face brightened and his eyes flashed 7 Schlesinger, in voice and in bias, is as present throughout the work nearly as much as is Jackson Schlesinger does not simply give an account of Jacksonian democracy he becomes its advocate Yet the book, like the author, is very much a product of its time Certain aspects of the monograph reveal this, such as Schlesinger s treatment of people of color Native Americans are essentially absent, including the Indian Removal Act, which would have looked poorly upon the notions of populism during Jackson s administration for the following administrations, he is not so withholding, therefore saving the face of Jackson a point which will be expanded upon later Though Schlesinger acknowledges the evils of slavery, he accepts the notion of white supremacy of his own time In its opening pages blackface minstrelsy is described in the language of warm nostalgia 4 and the only time in which blacks are actually addressed is in the form of benevolent enslavement His description of the slaves reactions to Jackson s death will likely make the modern reader chew back their bile A long wail of anguish rose up from the slaves in the house and echoed through the fields and stables 447.This leads to one of the book s greatest biases and faults, which is that of its depiction of the man, Andrew Jackson Schlesinger becomes so committed to the concept of Jacksonian democracy that he becomes equally committed to its namesake, and in the end becomes unable or unwilling to distinguish the person from the principle Jackson is not simply a general and statesman, he is a democratic prophet, wrapped in religious language The people called him, and he came, like the great folk heroes, to lead them out of captivity and bondage 43 This is strong, stirring language about a man who himself owned humans in bondage and never appears to have questioned the morality of slavery His Jackson is his contemporaries Hollywood hero rugged and inspiring awe with his manner and wisdom wherever he goes Even long after Jackson becomes president, Schlesinger continues to refer to him affectionately as The General 88 Jackson s character deficiencies and political missteps are conspicuously absent Other figures too become little than their professed principles, often introduced with two or three paragraphs of irrelevant though memorable trivia, such as who was found to own porn when they died, before Schlesinger proceeds to judge their character and worth upon their commitment to Jacksonian democracy They are clear protagonists and antagonists, the former committed to Jeffersonian and Jacksonian constructs, the latter to Hamiltonian ideals and Clay s American System Schlesinger s language likewise lets the reader know who to accept or oppose, for whereas Jackson is sincere and benign in his execution of authority, Nicholas Biddle, head of the Second Bank of the United States and Jackson s nemesis, is shown to be drunk with power 87.In at least one way, however, Schlesinger is atypical of the American public for which he was writing, though perhaps not of the intelligentsia of which he was a part A predominant thread which runs through the narrative is Jacksonianism taking the form of anti clericalism, which thus assisted in the growing secularization of society 360 Schlesinger clearly saw this as a positive force and outcome, and he dedicates many pages with accounts of agnostics and skeptics, even giving attention to the book s sole prominent female, Fanny Wright Anti clericalism was a form of anti aristocracy it was in labor s interest to oppose the clergy As Schlesinger writes, union leaders were generally atheists 194 Victories against religion, such as that against the Sabbatarians, were victories for democracy Notice, if you will, the above quote about Jackson which clearly alludes to Moses, who is referred in secular terms as a folk hero While an anti theist reader such as this one can certainly sympathize with this stance and find it refreshing in a work published in 1940s America, Schlesinger s contempt for the faithful can discolor his language in such a way that it reveals too greatly his bias, such as his treatment of Abolitionists The religious antislavery men, caring about the Negro than about white men at home, were infecting large sectors of the Whig party 453, emphasis mine Leaving aside the asinine suggestion that caring predominantly about people of color was a character flaw, Schlesinger s words drip with a contempt that, like many of his judgments, hardly seem justified.While Schlesinger s biases are never hidden, one of them, though it is suggested throughout the work, is put forthright at the end of the book Schlesinger, a committed Democratic partisan his whole career, is writing with a clear agenda An admirer of FDR s New Deal programs during the Great Depression, Schlesinger attempts to link the spirit of Jacksonian democracy with that of Roosevelt s economic interventions meant to help the laboring classes in the 1930s The Age of Jackson is, in essence, a diatribe against conservatism and a defense of liberalism coupled with strong executive policies designed to break the powers of the wealthy elite As Schlesinger sees it, by Jackson s time a century of bitter experience in the democratic fight finally led liberalism to uncover what Jeffersonians had buried the need for strong government, for it grew increasingly apparent that workingmen required protection from the mercies of their employers This called for government to take a much active role in economic life 520 So begins a cycle which Schlesinger puts forth unambiguously In the past, when liberalism has resolved the economic crisis and restored tranquility, conservatism has recovered power by the laws of political gravity then it makes a new botch of things, and liberalism again must take over in the name of the nation But the object of liberalism has never been to destroy capitalism, as conservatism invariably claims only to keep capitalists from destroying it 522 Recent Democratic initiatives following the global recession of 2009 could easily have adopted the same language in their justifications But no matter how much a liberal might be tempted to embrace it, the reading cannot stand firmly upon critical inspection Schlesinger s assertions suffer most profoundly in his general failure to clearly define what he means by liberalism and conservatism , other than the former being good Jacksonians and the latter their political enemies Even if this antebellum association could be justified, these definitions do not carry concretely through the following generations, and Schlesinger is using a scholarly slight of hand to suggest that they do He does this again as he conveniently overlooks the similarities of the demonized American System, particularly with its federal funding of infrastructure, with that of FDR s New Deal programs.It is easy to see why The Age of Jackson resonated at its time It reaffirmed accepted white narratives of the past while justifying Keynesian economic actions taken by popular politicians Likewise, Andrew Jackson provided the precedent of a strong protagonist fighting to spread democracy and freedom to the world for a generation of Americans engaged, or recently engaged, in battling global fascism and imperialism Jacksonian democracy, Schlesinger typically overstates, was not simply a national movement It was a movement of all people, everywhere, against their masters 320 Inspiring words, no doubt, however suspect of their validity, to the American World War II generation Schlesinger s work is propaganda pocked by shoddy reasoning, but it is nevertheless thought provoking and, at times, entertaining It is a brand of scholarship the passing of which the progressive minded cannot mourn, but it nevertheless remains an interesting artifact representative of its own era, and should continue to be valued as such.

  2. says:

    The Age of Jackson is the study of the Age than of the man Jackson is merely one of many who played their roles, including Martin Van Buren, John C Calhoun, Roger B Taney, John Quincy Adams and James Polk to mention a few.The Age of Jackson was an age of conflict conflict between classes, regions and personalities It was an era of bank vs people, plutocrats vs common man, North vs South and abolitionist vs slaveocrat To author Arthur M Schlesinger, Jr the clash of lasting consequence was that of class, the plutocracy vs masses Schlesinger focuses the challenge Jackson raised to the Virginia aristocracy and the patrons of the Adams dynasty who had controlled the White House through the life of the Republic Jackson turned the political landscape upside down as the broadening suffrage enabled military heroes to compete with the erstwhile political ruling class The most profound struggle during the Jackson Age was the decision to deny the recharter of the Second Bank of The United States This work begins in 1829 with Jackson s ascension to the White House and continues until Jacksonians complete their public service after the Civil War.What I like most about this book is the way it follows the personalities and issues who entered the public stage with Jackson throughout their careers The reader sees Jackson assemble his coalition, the opposition coalesce into the Whig party, the slavery tension supplant economic issues as fracture lines between the parties that traded power, all while individuals shift from banner to banner The influence of Jackson and his followers was long lasting than I realized I am impressed by the way it involves so many political, commercial and literary figures in its story I am reminded of Will and Ariel Durant s series on the History of Civilization.This is clearly a book on a mission Schlesinger presents Jackson as a popular reformer in the line extending from Jefferson through the Progressive Era that had found its high point in FDR s administration I think that at times he stretches the evidence to keep his chain intact Copyrighted in 1945, it is undeniably a work of its day Later historians may take a different view of the continuity from Jackson to Roosevelt and the issues selected by Schlesinger to make his case I found it interesting that the contemporary charge that Jackson erred in his expulsion of the Indians along the Trail of Tears merits no mention in this work I do not recall any Indians being mentioned on these pages Schlesinger s timeline runs from Jackson s attack on the Bank through FDR s support of unions, but not through the Trail of Tears to Roosevelt s relocation of Japanese Americans The Age Of Jackson compels the reader to think about the trend of American history from 1829 to the end of the Civil War It also makes us contemplate how history is molded by its tellers.

  3. says:

    Schlesinger is a good prose stylist, and there s interesting biographical detail of political leaders throughout, but I found it hard to get into this book and was often frustrated by it.Much of the book is about the controversy of the Bank of the United States, but I never felt like Schlesinger gave us the proper context to understand the real debates here It s clear Schlesinger thought Jackson and the hard money crowd were in the right, but I m still not 100% sure why This episode, like much of the book, is discussed in terms of personalities and politics rather than in terms of substance Maybe I m grafting my own worldview on too much, but it almost seemed like the Politico view of history all what one person said to about another person, and about political positioning rather than history that also explores the ultimate merit or lack thereof of actual policies.It s also hard to swallow how long the book takes to acknowledge the central role of slavery in so many of the sectional and other debates of the era and even when the book turns to discuss slavery, it acts as if slavery only arose as a political issue the day the Wilmot Proviso forbidding slavery in any territory acquired during the Mexican War was proposed That s just wrong The book also avoids wrestling with other aspects of Jackson, completely ignoring his treatment of Native Americans and lionizing his commitment to democracy and the little guy without really even acknowledging the exclusion of many men and all women from the political process that continued to occur I know it s always dicey to look at the past through the present s morality, but it s also silly in my view to completely ignore what we ve learned you end up greatly praising John C Calhoun while only mentioning in asides and downplaying the lengths to which fervent defense of and promotion of slavery drove his career.With all that said, Schlesinger is insightful on the linkages and contradictions between Jeffersonian and Jacksonian visions and realities, and he is exhaustive in his tracing of personality conflicts But ultimately, as read in the 21st Century, there is just too much lacking in this book.

  4. says:

    Unless you are studying the pre Civil War period of our country, I would not suggest reading this book Light reading it is not It is a dense read, revolving around the Jacksonian democratic philosophy accentuated by Andrew Jackson Schlesinger focuses much on theoretical arguments of agrarianism Jeffersonian principles and how they interact with Jackson s hard money, pro labor philosophy that espoused state rights but only to a certain extent He also talks about the decline and ultimate implosion of the Whig party much the same as the Federalist party fell apart a generation before I did enjoy that part of the book But, he really does not address Indian issues hardly at all a glaring omission And slavery is not given a thorough treatment here Schlesinger was a liberal historian, and that bias does come out in the book The book is somewhat dated now, as he makes occasional references to WWII era political thinking by both Republicans and Democrats If you are looking for a much readable, yet still intellectually challenging, book about this period, I suggest Daniel Walker Howe s What Hath God Wrought.

  5. says:

    I chose this book because I love History, American History, World History, whatever kind of History you name it I am on board I love history because of learning about what our ancestors and past figures have done to create and progress the world, our country, and our lives I had recently started to learn about Andrew Jackson when choosing what new book to read and this book caught my eye My teacher told me he had a fascinating life and there is so much he could talk about for his life and decisions, but It would take multiple weeks I thought why not give it a shot because I love History and was interested to see what exciting things he did in his life I was not disappointed this book provides an amazing and accurate depiction of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States of America.This book starts with the beginnings of Jackson presidency in 1828 to 1829 It talked about the harsh and bitter election Jackson was able to win against past president John Quincy Adams This book is 500 plus pages long, and there is so much detail of how each major event happened It starts with his first term as president where he inspires from the third president of the united states Andrew Jackson is a very controversial and energetic president He even threatened to kill JQA after his wife died because he was that sad and mad His first act was to create land for American settlers, so he proposed the Indian removal act which forced many native tribes and people in the south to move west paste Mississippi river This action caused many native people or of their kind to die along the way The book then goes onto his time of the tariff of 1828 where he brings back the tariff of 1818 For all of you that do not know a tariff is a tax This tariff taxed Americans for buying non made American goods South Carolina and much of the west was outraged South Carolina threatened to break away from the United States if the tariff was not taken away or lifted Jackson threatened to go down to South Carolina with the National Army to stop this, and he would hang the governor in front of them if actions were made South Carolina ended up halting the, and slight changes were made to the bill It also talks about the many actions of his that changed the power of the presidency and how each president after did just like him For example, he used a total of 10 vetoes against laws which no president before had done Another example is he fired all of the members in the previous cabinet which had never been done before and hired his team There is so much detailed view of his life, but the last significant action he took was the destruction of the National bank Andrew Jackson hated the National bank as he thought it corrupted politicians and was not being used for anything important He taxed the bank out of business leaving smaller state banks to fight for power This caused inflation and imbalance in the economy This was called the panic of 1837 which was an economic depression Then this bookends with his life after his time as president and gives a detailed view of his reflection and times after the presidency.This book had a few bad parts or cons The first thing was the language was outdated and old There was a lot of sophisticated language but from the 1800s Many of the words we would know in a regular sentence, but the way they structure these sentences can make it hard to understand and get the true impact of what is happening at that moment in the book This book was also substantially long It was over 500 pages as there was a lot of information to cover The book also does not do a good job setting the stage as it just gets right into the story without many contexts behind it The book jumps around a lot from a different story to story or idea to idea so it can be hard to follow at times For a person that is not interested in history or presidents, I do not suggest this book as you will find it to be boring or dull and it will feel like your back in a history class in schoolThis book, however, has lots of pros or good things about it There is a lot of information, and the author does a great job of describing in detail each major event It makes it feel realistic and like you are with Andrew Jackson right there and then The information also was told in an exciting and suspense type way that kept you on your toes The sources that the book used were top tier and from some of the best colleges and real hand account which gave the book credibility and gave it an edge on other Andrew Jackson books This man had a lot of interesting person struggles along with his time as president, and the book does a fantastic job talking about them This books also did an excellent job of putting in his controversial side As many may or may not know Andrew Jackson was a little crazy and a controversial president He did many horrible things like the Indian removal act, and this book does a good job contrasting his good and bad moments This overall was a credible and well written book about the life of Andrew Jackson.

  6. says:

    Writing in 1945, Schlesinger wrote this book to honor the Democratic Party of Jackson and van Buren for extending the democratic franchise and strengthening the role of government Jackson can be seen as a populist strong man who fostered white supremacy and racism And his election was viewed by the elites of the time as a catastrophe But Jacksonian politics supported universal manhood suffrage, turning decisively away from restricting voting to property holders It put the lie to the Whig belief that extending the franchise to the poor meant the demise of property rights It ended the Second Bank of the United States, which under Biddle was a dangerous monopoly used for private gain Biddle tried to use the powers of the Bank to create a depression to force the renewal of the Bank s charter and nearly succeeded.Jackson provided the key push to get rid of debtor emprisonment when he came to office, two thirds of all prisoners in the US were debtors The Democrats also strengthened the Federal Government, helping provide the powers that would aid the Union in the Civil War They pushed for codification of the law and for allowing incorporation without requiring specific legislation for each corporate charter the old method led to monopolies sanctioned by the state They championed religious freedom Van Buren ordered a 10 hour work day on Federal projects without loss of pay.Democrats led the successful push for the legalization of labor unions Jackson and the Democrats supported and were supported by the great original writers Whitman, Hawthorne, Cooper., Jackson was a strong and often autocratic leader The extension of the franchise brought with it as well the rise of the spoils system and ward politics.This book reminds us of the two sides to populism and of democracy The rabble rise up They may be led and misled But the voices of all the people need to be expressed, for better and worse Only if the government speaks for all does democracy thrive The privileged viewpoint of the elites, however sympathetic to groups of underdogs, does not represent the whole truth.

  7. says:

    The Age of Jackson is a novel documenting the massive populist movement that begins because of Andrew Jackson The book descriptively explains every issue and event that occurs during the time right before this era, the actual presidency of Jackson, and the populist era that occurs after Jackson s presidency The first part of the book is about the early stages of America after the ratification of the Constitution This section talks mostly about the federalist vs anti federalist debate The next part of the book is about Jackson s presidency and the age of populism that follows This makes up the majority of book and is really interesting This part goes through many of the issues that occurred during his presidency such as the trail of tears, a lot of time is spent talking about how Jackson was able to veto the Bank of the United States, and also the nullification crisis.This was a very interesting book to read, it is extremely descriptive and well written I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not either love history or have good background knowledge in US history The book makes a lot of references to events in history that it assumes the reader knows about, so if the reader does not know about said events they would very confused.

  8. says:

    The Age of Jackson by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr was published in 1945 and won the 1946 Pulitzer Prize in the History category He also won a 1966 Pulitzer Prize for A Thousand Days about John F Kennedy s presidency Schlesinger was a well known historian, social critic and prominent Democrat, and served as Special Assistant to President Kennedy In all, he authored nearly three dozen books.Schlesinger s The Age of Jackson is an American classic and it maintains a consistent stream of readers despite its advanced age However, as is well known to anyone who has perused its pages, it is not really a biography of Andrew Jackson What Schlesinger s book is, first and foremost, is a political science treatise a discussion of Jacksonian democracy and the evolution of classical liberalism.Second, and in a much narrower sense, it is an interesting but not comprehensive book on American history during the first half of the nineteenth century It only vaguely contains the faintest shadows of a biography and is as much about Martin Van Buren in that respect as Andrew Jackson In fact, to the extent this book describes Jackson at all, it is less as a man than as a movement, or perhaps some sort of cosmic force.In spite of its now ancient publication date, this book is easy for the modern reader to absorb it is articulate, intelligently written and often interesting With increasing frequency toward its back half, however, it tries to morph into a dry, monotonous, overly academic discourse that seems intent on proving the author s point than presenting a balanced point of view It is a carefully crafted campaign to convey the author s opinions of social history and justice but, like a Paul Krugman op ed, it is obvious the author believes his views so inviolate that no one of sane judgment could possibly disagree.Many past reviewers of this book have reflected on its one sided nature and have expressed disappointment, or even hostility, about the lack of balance Several have wished for a clearer delineation between the role of a scholar and a partisan Schlesinger was clearly often both, but his ability to irritate readers seems to have been most profound when he performed both roles simultaneously.To his credit, Schlesinger provides an interesting discussion of the demise of Federalism and he colorfully details the contentious, multi year effort to eradicate the Second Bank of the U.S He also follows the fascinating evolution of popular political mood during the several decades following Jackson s presidency.Ironically, for all his advocacy of egalitarianism, Schlesinger fails to cast Native Americans in the story in any meaningful way despite their importance to Jackson s career He neither points out Jackson s deficiencies in their treatment nor provides any excuse for the General s actions And Jackson s apparent failure to seriously question the morality of slavery never seems to come up, either.Overall, The Age of Jackson is an interesting, provocative and reasoned analysis of a broad swath of American history and political transformation Strictly as an introduction to Jackson the frontiersman, military leader and politician, the book is wholly unsuitable But as a sweeping literary chronicle of an early American era seen through the lens of a passionate partisan, it is timeless Given my specific mission, however, my overall rating reflects the former than the latter.Overall rating 3 stars

  9. says:

    A meaty read for anyone interested in American history, Schlesinger ranges broadly to give the reader a feel for the issues, conflicts, personalities and background of the period from 1830 to just after the Civil War.Democracy was interpreted in a very constricted way in the early years of the United States Before the presidency of Andrew Jackson it was held by many wealthy propertied folks of the Federalist party that having property entitled one to a special place in the government of the United States Men of property didn t attempt to hide their contempt for the common man The Second Bank of the United States was created to assert and protect this claim to rule of the wealthy The funds of the government were placed on deposit in this private bank and the bank could then lend freely as it saw fit, earning a tidy sum for its owners Not a bad deal The president of the Bank Nicholas Biddle, even disputed the power of the U.S President to have any say on what the Bank did, though the government was generously allowed 5 places on the 30 person board of bank directors.Once Jackson got into office the Bank had a limited time to live to the great acclaim of the common folk in the Eastern U.S and the consternation of the industrialists in the East and the speculators in the West.Schlesinger launches his book on this issue We are introduced to the major players, the political parties, the philosophies of the time, the economics that made up this period that began before the railroad and the telegraph Abraham Lincoln b 1808 makes a late appearance in this history and is not emphasized in his person, but only in his role as a conscience Whig then a Republican The issue of slavery and state s rights are thoroughly covered, though.What you get is a well rounded feel for the time that should fascinate anyone who is intrigued by the history of the United States and interested in how democracy found its feet Though the mid nineteenth century seems far in the past, the same contest for power of the populace vs wealth is still present But after Jackson, all accepted the concept of rule by the people, whether or not it might be in fact or only in appearance Since then, anyone interested in rising to the top office has had to present himself as a man of the people and the born in a log cabin or just a regular guy or gal like you mythology was on the road that continues today in the persons of G.W Bush, the backyard BBQ patrician or Sarah Palin, the hockey mom, whose total ignorance on issues was considered almost beneficial.In the Age of Jackson, you ll find out about the Locofocos, the Barnburners, the Doughfaces, the Copperheads and even the fracas in Rhode Island known as the Dorr Rebellion, an attempt to take office by force backed by two cannon that failed I discovered a real jewel in the book, A Short History of Paper Money and Banking written by William Gouge like gouging out your eye , a simple to read tutorial on how banks work and why paper money is so dangerous to financial stability This work was extermely influential in the 19th century and is well worth reading today It is available free online here link doesn t work in Firefox

  10. says:

    Schlesinger laces up the gloves and swings away in this political philosophical biography history His main subject or rather the philosophical underpinning of his wide ranging view of many different subjects is that a pure form of populist democracy, arrayed against the pernicious forces of corporatism and classism will, if not inevitably prevail, invariably be on the right side of history This book was much politically dogmatic than I expected it to be, but on this level there is a thorough investigation into the outcomes of Jacksonian democracy The age of Jackson, as Schlesinger tells it, was the age of expanding enfranchisement under the reign of King Mob In this sense, Schlesinger is personally a fan of Jackson the image of Jackson as backwoods commoner and champion of the working man fits the liberal narrative that Schlesinger tells, and there is little historical static to get in the way of that Unfortunately, some of Jackson s less liberal attitudes and policies are conspicuously omitted or sketched out in calculatedly sparse detail Jackson s Indian policies, his penchant for retributive murder.That is a shame, one less than excusable, and it smacks of whitewashing The fundamental struggle between labor and capital, between elite and commoner is enough to move the narrative, but being the only struggle depicted in a history covering over decade, especially a decade so fraught with social upheaval as this, cripples the book almost fatally That disinterest in the smaller scales of history, in the everyday ramifications of Schlesinger s philosophizing and politicking, also makes this book a chore to read Schlesinger is one of those old school historians who makes a person a principle a little too easily, harrumphing magisterially about Grand Ideas while forgetting the fickleness and nuance and humanness of the people who held the ideas Characterization is limited to a few drily humorous anecdotes, generally illustrative of the subject s philosophy.Schlesinger put a mark on historiography with this dense and opinionated Pulitzer winner it s worth a read, but be prepared for that read to be a taxing and heavy handed affair.

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