Young Hickory:The Making of Andrew Jackson

Taylor Trade Publishing, 2001 ($26.95)

Pioneers from Ireland in the Carolinas -- the violence, sacrifice, nobility of the American Revolution -- an orphan boy with a scar on his head determined to make a way for himself -- the real story of Andrew Jackson with more detail than any previous biography. Plus a section correcting myths about Old Hickory's youth.

Critics say:


Robert V. Remini, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Illinois at Chicago: "Very little is known about Andrew Jackson's early life, but Hendrik Booraem has done a remarkable job of weaving together the diverse body of materials to provide a vivid and intriguing account of Jackson's career growing up in the Carolinas."

Harold D. Moser, University of Tennessee, editor of The Papers of Andrew Jackson: "Drawing upon an extensive body of materials, Booraem has imaginatively crafted a highly readable account of the Carolina backcountry in the last quarter of the eighteenth century and its influence in molding the man who became the seventh president of the United States. The study is as well a lively chronicle of the impact of the American Revolution on the lives of the people in the upcountry South."

Excerpt:


"Andy awakened suddenly and reached for the musket propped against the log wall. It was after midnight. The fire had burned low. Out the open door he could see only dim starlight and the bare earth of the yard. The man who had roused him said something about people moving outside. He grabbed his gun, wakened the British deserter next to him, and moved quietly toward the door.

He was not in his own house. He, Robin, Uncle Crawford, and four or five other men were west of the river, in the cabin of John Land, a captain in Sumter's forces. Captain Land was home for a night, risking his life to visit his family. The Tories in the area, too weak to attack Sumter's army, eagerly awaited the times when an officer was back home, relatively off guard and relatively defenseless. It gave them a chance to surprise and kill him. Land knew his danger. He kept the time of his visit secret and, just in case it leaked out, asked some neighborhood Whigs, including the Crawfords and Jacksons, to come along as his bodyguards. Andy was among them; almost fourteen, he counted now as a fighting man." (Chapter Eight, "The Death of Captain Land")

200 pages, with a map, illustrations, and three appendices. The book begins with the migration of Jackson's parents from Ulster to Carolina and ends on his twenty-first birthday in 1788. In between are descriptions of the early Carolina backcountry, the city of Charleston, several little-known battles of the War for Independence, and Jackson himself. Short sections discuss whiskey distilling, popular card games, linen making, smallpox, Presbyterian worship -- and many other topics -- in the Carolina backcountry. Be sure to read the notes, which add more cultural information. A great book for fans of Jackson, the American Revolution, or the history of the Carolinas.

Selected Works

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Gerald R. Ford and His World, 1913-1935
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Calvin Coolidge and his world, 1885-1895
James A. Garfield and his world, 1844-1852
Andrew Jackson and his world, 1767-1788
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