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Extended Audio Sample Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times Audiobook, by H. W. Brands Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,097 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. W. Brands Narrator: John H. Mayer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9781415939956
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In this, the first major single-volume biography of Andrew Jackson in decades, H.W. Brands reshapes our understanding of this fascinating man, and of the Age of Democracy that he ushered in.

An orphan at a young age and without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, Jackson showed that the presidency was not the exclusive province of the wealthy and the well-born but could truly be held by a man of the people. On a majestic, sweeping scale Brands re-creates Jackson’s rise from his hardscrabble roots to his days as frontier lawyer, then on to his heroic victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and finally to the White House. Capturing Jackson’s outsized life and deep impact on American history, Brands also explores his controversial actions, from his unapologetic expansionism to the disgraceful Trail of Tears. This is a thrilling portrait, in full, of the president who defined American democracy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jackson was an American original, a wholly fascinating figure whom H. W. Brands brings to life in a big, rich biography. . . .Brands weaves together keen political history with anecdote and marvelous sense of place to produce a vivid tableau. The Boston Globe

  • A great story. . . . Serves up everything you might expect in a ripping yarn: murderous duels, savage Indian raids, equally savage counterattacks. The Washington Post Book World
  • Highly readable and entertaining. . . . [Brands] presents Jackson, warts and all, as the fascinating and exceedingly real character that he was and lets the man emerge from behind the image to stand on his own. Dallas Morning News
  • Revealing. . . . A masterful, detailed account of Jackson's life and his contributions to the nation. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully told. The Oregonian

  • “Jackson was an American original, a wholly fascinating figure whom H. W. Brands brings to life in a big, rich biography. . . .Brands weaves together keen political history with anecdote and marvelous sense of place to produce a vivid tableau. The Boston Globe

  • A great story. . . . Serves up everything you might expect in a ripping yarn: murderous duels, savage Indian raids, equally savage counterattacks. The Washington Post Book World
  • Highly readable and entertaining. . . . [Brands] presents Jackson, warts and all, as the fascinating and exceedingly real character that he was and lets the man emerge from behind the image to stand on his own. Dallas Morning News
  • Revealing. . . . A masterful, detailed account of Jackson's life and his contributions to the nation. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully told. The Oregonian

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cliff | 2/19/2014

    " Very interesting....a daring man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Albert | 1/12/2014

    " Although, I generally distrust people with initials for first names, and having read a couple of other books he's written - TR: The Last Romantic and The First American - I wasn't sure which Brands I was going to get, as the former was well-written and the latter, eh ... not so much. I found this book to be of the well-written variety, although many times I had a sense that there was more that I needed to know, but that can run the risk of the The First American, which seemed a bit bogged down in pointless detail. I am going to give The First American another try, as now I have a clearer picture of Brand's style, and highly recommend this book for a good picture of the Jacksonian era, and it's many characters. Good job, H.W., and I drink your milkshake... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 12/28/2013

    " I didn't think I would like Andrew Jackson. But this book did an excellent job of explaining his reasons for doing what he did in relation to the time period he lived in. Came away from readying it with a new appreciation of the man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 11/27/2013

    " In the end I didn't like Jackson much "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glo | 11/22/2013

    " I love history. This book was about Jackson's life before his presidency as well as during his term. I found it interesting and enlightening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 10/24/2013

    " Best one volume biography of Jackson. HW Brands who has written many books on popular historical figures tells the story of Andrew Jackson as it is. A stern supporter of the People, takes no shit from anyone who gets in his face and was a pretty decent military general (i.e. Battle of New Orleans). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 9/22/2013

    " Didn't care for the man, but enjoyed the book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 9/13/2013

    " Another excellent presidential biography. This one is based largely, though not exclusively on Adams journal which he kept assiduously most of his life. Thus one gets to know more of the personality of the man, than is normally the case. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Billy | 3/11/2013

    " Enjoyable biography of our 7th president. Struck a good balance between the issues of the days and Jackson's personal life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/18/2012

    " I didn't know much about Jackson before this book. Bottom line - he was one tough military dude. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Bengel | 8/18/2012

    " Very very good. Fascinating time period. Jackson lived from colonist to union preserver. Quite a character and such a legacy. Following this with Meacham's American Lion for more detail on his White House years. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 5/17/2012

    " This is a decent biography, but it doesn't do much to illuminate Jackson's contradictions. In a lot of ways, he was a complete asshole, and he is almost certainly the only president of the United States who was an actual murderer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 5/10/2012

    " Andrew Jackson is definitely in my top 5 Presidents list. I really like this book because Brands is so fair to Jackson and includes so much of the history of the times in which he lived. Anyone who is a critic of Jackson needs to read this and get to know him better!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/6/2012

    " interesting, revealing look at the $20 bill man. he was hated by many. very strong personality "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barry | 7/3/2011

    " Insights on America - and how we became who we are- that most people have not explored. A very informative , and sometimes provocative read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Humkeb | 6/23/2011

    " Andrew Jackson was an interesting character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 6/15/2011

    " Amazingly well written and researched book. A great book about a great man! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 4/13/2011

    " A great history book--I learned a lot about Andrew Jackson as a person, but much more about our country and how we got to this place through the actions of the past. Highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 4/11/2011

    " Excellent bio. Very well written for a history. Easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/25/2011

    " "The Union, it must be preserved." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 12/15/2010

    " Didn't care for the man, but enjoyed the book... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 10/11/2010

    " I didn't think I would like Andrew Jackson. But this book did an excellent job of explaining his reasons for doing what he did in relation to the time period he lived in. Came away from readying it with a new appreciation of the man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan | 9/16/2010

    " #7 in the Presidential biography project. This biography did a great job of combining the historical backdrop with the personality of the subject. Jackson, so far, has been the most fascinating president and really helped usher in the party system and the rule of the people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 6/11/2010

    " A very fine biography of our seventh president. Well written and balanced. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glo | 5/4/2010

    " I love history. This book was about Jackson's life before his presidency as well as during his term. I found it interesting and enlightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Billy | 4/7/2010

    " Enjoyable biography of our 7th president. Struck a good balance between the issues of the days and Jackson's personal life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 2/21/2010

    " A great history book--I learned a lot about Andrew Jackson as a person, but much more about our country and how we got to this place through the actions of the past. Highly recommended! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 1/16/2010

    " Amazingly well written and researched book. A great book about a great man! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 10/19/2009

    " A look at the life of the incredibly smart (yet populist) Andrew Jackson. He had an amazingly accomplished life and stopped or prevented a lot of overly-zealous federalist from achieving their damaging goals. "

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About the Author

H. W. Brands is the Dickson Allen Anderson Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and again for Traitor to His Class.

About the Narrator

John H. Mayer is a writer, actor, and audiobook narrator. In 1973, he cowrote Radio Rocket Boy, an award-winning short film. He also has narrated dozens of audiobooks, including American Lion and The Wolf Tree, among many others.