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review 2019-12-08 00:06
Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times - H.W. Brands

Considered by some the most dangerous man to be President and others as one of their own that deserved the office, he ushered in a sea change in Washington and American politics.  Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands follows the future President of the United States from his birth in the South Carolina backcountry to frontier town of Nashville to the battlefields of the Old Southwest then finally to the White House and how he gave his name to an era of American history.

 

Brands begins with a Jackson family history first from Scotland to Ulster then to the Piedmont region of the Carolina where his aunts and uncles had pioneered before his own parents immigrated.  Fatherless from birth, Jackson’s childhood was intertwined with issues between the American colonies and Britain then eventually the Revolutionary War that the 13-year old Jackson participated in as a militia scout and guerilla fighter before his capture and illness while a POW.  After the death of the rest of his family at the end of the war through illness, a young Jackson eventually went into law becoming one of the few “backcountry” lawyers in western North Carolina—including Tennessee which was claimed by North Carolina—before moving to Nashville and eventually becoming one of the founders of the state of Tennessee and become one of it’s most important military and political figures especially with his marriage to Rachel Donelson.  Eventually Jackson’s status as the major general of the Tennessee militia led him to first fight the Creek War—part of the overall War of 1812—then after the successful conclusion of the campaign was made a major general of the regular army in charge of the defending New Orleans from British attack which ultimately culminated in the famous 1815 battle that occurred after the signing of the peace treaty in Ghent.  As “the” military hero of the war, Jackson’s political capital grew throughout the Monroe administration even with his controversial invasion of Florida against the Seminole.  After becoming the first U.S. Governor of Florida, Jackson left the army and eventually saw his prospects rise for the Presidency to succeed Monroe leading to the four-way Presidential contest of 1824 which saw Jackson win both the popular vote and plurality of electoral college votes but lose in the House to John Quincy Adams.  The campaign for 1828 began almost immediately and by the time of the vote the result wasn’t in doubt.  Jackson’s time in the White House was focused on the Peggy Eaton affair, the battle over Bank of the United States, the Nullification Crisis with South Carolina, Indian relations, and finally what was happening in Texas.  After his time in office, Jackson struggled keeping his estate out of debt and kept up with the events of around the country until his death.

 

In addition to focusing on Jackson’s life, Brands make sure to give background to the events that he would eventually be crucial part of.  Throughout the book Brands keeps three issues prominent: Unionism, slavery, and Indian relations that dominated Jackson’s life and/or political thoughts.  While Brands hits hard Jackson’s belief in the Union and is nuanced when it comes with slavery, the relations with Indians is well done in some areas and fails in some (most notably the “Trail of Tears”).  This is not a biography focused primarily on Jackson’s time in the White House and thus Brands only focused on the big issues that is primarily focused on schools instead of an intense dive into his eight years.

 

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times is a informative look into the life of the seventh President of the United States and what was happening in the United States throughout his nearly eight decades of life.  H.W. Brands’ writing style is given to very easy reading and his research provides very good information for both general and history specific readers, though he does hedge in some areas.  Overall a very good biography.

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url 2019-11-27 15:29
Podcast #164 is up!
Washington's Revolutionary War Generals - Stephen R. Taaffe

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Stephen R. Taaffe about his study of the roles played by the various generals of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Enjoy!

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review 2019-11-27 15:13
Bold
His Consort - Mary Calmes

Jason moves to New Orleans wanting a new start.  The encounter he had before leaving his old place was reminding him he should make the most of it.  Here in NOLA, he has made new friends and found a new purpose.

 

Varic is the prince that he was told of.  Meeting him in person puts Jason on the edge.  He is wary, skeptical, and seriously attracted to him.  What kind of future would he have with a royal vampire?

 

This book quickly heats and is very fast paced.  I read it on its book birthday, since it had been in my TBR and I was curious.  I devoured each page and could not wait to finish.  This author never disappoints.  I give this read a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2019-11-26 01:28
KILL SWITCH by Jonathan Maberry, narrated by Ray Porter
Kill Switch: A Joe Ledger Novel - Jonathan Maberry

I know I’ve said this about previous books in this series, but this is my favorite entry as of now. 

 

 Having the advantage of starting a series once it’s already finished-I know Joe will make it through. Everyone else though? I genuinely was afraid for Top, Bunny, Church, and the gang. 

 

I enjoyed the references to Lovecraft and other pulp fiction writers and combined with the real tension I felt for these characters- I feel this volume surpassed the others. 

 

Bring on the next book! 

 

* I downloaded the audio of this book free from my local library. Libraries RULE! *

** Listening to these free library downloads has hooked me on this series. As such, I’ve rejoined Audible so I don’t have to wait for library holds to arrive. So, attention publishers! Free access to books and audiobooks at local libraries can and does lead to actual sales. **

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review 2019-11-18 12:13
great read.
Held Hostage - Morticia Knight
Title: Held Hostage (Sin City Uniforms #4) Author: Morticia Knight Publisher: Totally Bound Genre: Action, Contemporary Length: 199 pages Other: Spanking, Anal, Masturbation, M/M Rating: 4 stars Review by: Paperwhite REVIEW A very welcome addition to this series! This is book 4 in the Sin City Uniforms series, and you don’t NEED to have read the other books, but I would recommend you at least read book 2, Copping an Attitude. There are some things that happen in THAT book that have a direct impact on Brett in THIS book. They are all rather good though! Cole’s reaction to Brett is deep and powerful and vice versa and I loved that Brett fought a great deal against his feelings for Cole. They shared one night, just a “be there for each other” type thing, after a particularly difficult day for them both but very VERY quickly, it turns into more. They have crazy hot chemistry, right from the beginning. Cole brings some things into Brett’s bed that he never tried or thought to try before, and I did enjoy Brett learning as much as Cole did showing him. There is a scene in this book, that I did not enjoy. I didn’t want to read it, but I understand that is really is part of Cole’s life BEFORE Brett. I just didn’t like, is all! Both guys have a say, in the third person. Previous characters pop up, but not all of them. And I was glad that Brett could be friends with his ex, even after what he did in book 2. There is some overlap towards the end of this book and book 5, Negotiating Love and having read that book already, I knew what was going on, but it was great to read said bits from Cole’s point of view. I am enjoying this series, of 4 and 5 star ratings from me, but to be honest, this was probably my least favourite of the bunch. Still, I read it in one sitting, and I DID enjoy it for the most part. 4 solid stars **a similar worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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