Robert E. Lee Has Never Been So Cheap

Yesterday I picked Jon Meacham’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House as well as Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason.  On the way out I noticed a pile of hardcover copies of Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s, Reading the Man, on the Remainder Table for $6.98 [also the online price].  It’s a fabulous biography, so keep an eye out next time you are in your local B&N or Borders.

12 thoughts on “Robert E. Lee Has Never Been So Cheap

    1. Leonard Lanier

      While not exactly a bad biography of Jackson, Meacham does really bring anything new to the discussion. In fact, he borrows heavily from Robert V. Remini, Jackson's best modern biographer. Anyone seriously interested in understanding Jackson and his presidency should bypass Meacham and invest their time and money in Remini's three volume biography of Old Hickory, or the one volume abridgement.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin

        I can't imagine many people having the time to read Remini's three volumes. While I own a copy of Meacham's Jackson biography I haven't read it, but he is an excellent writer and I suspect the book is pretty good given the reviews I've seen. No doubt Remini looms large over most recent Jackson scholarship.

        Reply
        1. Leonard Lanier

          As noted in the earlier post, Remini did abridge his longer series into a one-volume treatment, The Life of Andrew Jackson. In fact, Remini's one volume biography is shorter, 448 pages, than Meacham's, 512 pages. If you want only a one volume biography of Jackson, at least get the work written by the acknowledged expert in the field.

          Reply
            1. Chris Evans

              I would also recommend some other Jackson books that are quite excellent too and are sometimes overshadowed by Remini but make excellent reading on this extremely complicated and fascinating man:
              1)Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H. W. Brands- Really good one volume account of his life. Just came out a few years ago. A little short on the presidency but truly excellent on all other aspects of Jackson's life.
              2)Jackson's Way: Andrew Jackson And the People Of The Western Waters by John Buchanan- This is really a great account of Jackson's involvement in the Creek War and the War of 1812.
              3)Young Hickory: The Making of Andrew Jackson by Hendrik Booraem- Strangely this is a mostly forgotten book but contains much excellent information on Jackson's first twenty six years. Came out in 2001.
              4)The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James- is a older book but is still quite excellent. Published originally in two volumes it was combined into one large volume. Won the Pulitzer prize in 1938. Sort of a Douglas Southall Freeman look at Jackson. It was the standard until Remini.
              5)Old Hickory: A Life of Andrew Jackson by Burke Davis. This is one of Burke Davis' best books outside of the Civil War. Very easy to read and entertaining. Very useful as a introduction before going into the heavy stuff.

              Hope this helps people learn more about this truly original character. I have visited the field of his greatest victory at Chalmette outside of New Orleans and have visited his home at the Hermitage and have always been interested in reading more on him.
              Chris

              Reply
  1. Leonard Lanier

    While not exactly a bad biography of Jackson, Meacham does really bring anything new to the discussion. In fact, he borrows heavily from Robert V. Remini, Jackson's best modern biographer. Anyone seriously interested in understanding Jackson and his presidency should bypass Meacham and invest their time and money in Remini's three volume biography of Old Hickory, or the one volume abridgement.

    Reply
  2. Kevin Levin

    I can't imagine many people having the time to read Remini's three volumes. While I own a copy of Meacham's Jackson biography I haven't read it, but he is an excellent writer and I suspect the book is pretty good given the reviews I've seen. No doubt Remini looms large over most recent Jackson scholarship.

    Reply
  3. Leonard Lanier

    As noted in the earlier post, Remini did abridge his longer series into a one-volume treatment, The Life of Andrew Jackson. In fact, Remini's one volume biography is shorter, 448 pages, than Meacham's, 512 pages. If you want only a one volume biography of Jackson, at least get the work written by the acknowledged expert in the field.

    Reply
  4. Chris Evans

    I would also recommend some other Jackson books that are quite excellent too and are sometimes overshadowed by Remini but make excellent reading on this extremely complicated and fascinating man:
    1)Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H. W. Brands- Really good one volume account of his life. Just came out a few years ago. A little short on the presidency but truly excellent on all other aspects of Jackson's life.
    2)Jackson's Way: Andrew Jackson And the People Of The Western Waters by John Buchanan- This is really a great account of Jackson's involvement in the Creek War and the War of 1812.
    3)Young Hickory: The Making of Andrew Jackson by Hendrik Booraem- Strangely this is a mostly forgotten book but contains much excellent information on Jackson's first twenty six years. Came out in 2001.
    4)The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James- is a older book but is still quite excellent. Published originally in two volumes it was combined into one large volume. Won the Pulitzer prize in 1938. Sort of a Douglas Southall Freeman look at Jackson. It was the standard until Remini.
    5)Old Hickory: A Life of Andrew Jackson by Burke Davis. This is one of Burke Davis' best books outside of the Civil War. Very easy to read and entertaining. Very useful as a introduction before going into the heavy stuff.

    Hope this helps people learn more about this truly original character. I have visited the field of his greatest victory at Chalmette outside of New Orleans and have visited his home at the Hermitage and have always been interested in reading more on him.
    Chris

    Reply

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