Get ready, because I am going to make all of my Tennessee ancestors roll in their graves. My opinions about Jackson The Iron-Willed Commander by Paul Vickery, which I received a free copy of from Booksneeze, would probably make most Tennessee folks upset.
The book itself is well written and informative. It follows a quick pace but still manages to educate. It is part of a series of books called “The Generals”, of which I have also read the volumes on Sherman and Pershing. So far, the whole series seems to be really dependable in terms of quality and educational value. They also are great books to give your father-in-law for Christmas, so keep that in mind if Grandpa is hard to shop for!
My issue with the Andrew Jackson book has nothing to do with the actual writing, but entirely to do with Andrew Jackson himself. I know it is tricky to judge past people by the standards or today, but whoa! I had no idea our former president was such a hot-head and rash decision maker. I do not find his actions in the Creek War to be brave and inspiring like the author Paul Vickery seems to suggest. I think that if anything, Andrew Jackson was guilty of conducting war crimes against humanity in his treatment of the Creek people. Then at the end of all of it, he betrayed the Creeks who were friendly to him by taking away half their land!
There was also an incident where one of his young soldiers named John Woods was really freaking out and disobeying orders, so Jackson had the young man executed quite quickly. Reading about this through my 2012 goggles, I can’t help but wonder if the young man had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
So there you go Tennessee ancestors. I totally disavow your hero. Thank goodness Old Hickory isn’t up for election today, because I would gladly take either Romney or Obamma over Andrew Jackson, any day of the year (or in any century).