Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jackson: The Iron-Willed Commander by Paul Vickery

This book is one of The Generals series published by Thomas Nelson. Others in the series include Washington, Grant, Lee, Sherman, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur. Author Paul Vickery is on the history faculty at Oral Roberts University, and he also serves as a pastor.

I was interested in this book because I grew up in Tennessee not far from the city of Jackson, which was named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. "Old Hickory" was his nickname given to him by the men he commanded. Hickory wood is the hardest wood in North America. Jackson was a tough commander, driving himself as hard as he drove his men. But, they loved him for it and served him well.

Jackson was the first president to come from the heartland. He was not a member of the landed gentry or the elite of the northeastern states. He was orphaned young and joined the military as a teenager. He became a lawyer and a judge, but it appears his true calling was military leadership. His gift for making the right decisions propelled him from an unknown militia leader to the hero general who saved New Orleans in the War of 1812.

Famous for his hot temper and his many duels, Jackson became involved in politics as a result of his reputation as a military man. He was responsible in part for the founding of the Democratic party, although the original and the current versions bear little resemblance to each other.

The book is an easy read. You get the information without the scholarly language that you find in some historical books. Most of the content deals with his military exploits which are the basis for his fame. The author gives a good account of his dealings with Native Americans and the reasons for the decisions he made concerning them. The author brought out several instances where the slow speed of communications in those days complicated matters far more than we realize.

I recommend it for the simple fact that all Americans need to know more about Jackson and his iron will. Think of all the places in the US that are named for him: Jacksonville, FL; Jackson, MS; Jackson, GA; Jackson, TN. He was a truly great leader, and we need people like him these days, hard as hickory and consistent in sticking to principles.

The hard copy is on Amazon here. Kindle edition is found here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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