THE SOUL OF AMERICA/JON MEACHAM

Jon Meacham has the academic prowess to place complicated issues into perspective through solid historical research.  Meacham has accomplished this once again in his new book THE SOUL OF AMERICA.  He removes a little worry and considerable angst from those who are gravely concerned about Washington, D.C. and President Trump.  This is an important read for all concerned American Citizens.

THE SOUL OF AMERICA is extremely well structured and I have chosen two paragraphs in hopes that I may entice you to read this work.

“Yes, much of the nation’s fate lies in the hands of the president, but the voters have the ultimate authority. The country has to awaken every now and then to the fact that the people are responsible for the government they get. And when they elect a man to the presidency who doesn’t take care of the job, they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves.” ( Harry S. Truman, post presidential notes. ) 

” We have managed , however, to survive the crisis and vicissitudes of history. Our brightest hours are almost never as bright as we like to think; our glummest moments are rarely irredeemable as they feel at the time. How, then, in an hour of anxiety about the future of the country, at a time when a president of the United States appears determined to undermine the rule of law, a free press, and the sense of hope essential to American life, can those with deep concerns about the nation’s future enlist on the side of the angels?”  (Jon Meacham)

After reading the perspective drawn from the pages of the SOUL OF AMERICA, I am betting that our “better angels” will enter the arena and prevail.

American Lion/ Andrew Jackson/ President’s Week Continues

Jon Meacham is back on my blog today with another great book on the American Presidency, American Lion a biography of  Andrew Jackson, the eighth President of the United States ( 1829-1837).   Reviewers  generally agree that American Lion is a definitive work on the Jackson presidency. I will readily admit that I knew little detail about Jackson before picking up this Pulitzer winner and I remain thrilled that it was recommended to me. 

” Old Hickory” was one of the more incredible characters  to ever inhabit the White House.  He was a zealot in his beliefs and in particular hated the Bank of United States which be believed was the basis of past, present and future corruption in America and a threat to the Federal Government itself.  He was a staunch  states rights advocate, believed in the sovereignty of the individual but at the same time believed that the Federal Government was essential!

There was no contradiction in the zealotry of his Indian removal policy. In 1830, just a year after taking office, Jackson pushed a new piece of legislation called the “Indian Removal Act” through both houses of Congress. It gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. Under these treaties, the Indians were to give up their lands east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands to the west leading to the black-mark on his presidency and the nation itself,  “The Trail of Tears.”

Despite all of the controversy that surrounds the Jackson presidency he in reality created the foundation of the modern-day Democratic Party.  He is considered by historians to be the first ‘populist” president.

American Lion is a marvelous journey for the reader and once again Meacham exhibits excellence!  No matter how much material Meacham covers, his work is always manageable.