Brands has written -- and Mayer ably narrated -- a wonderfully rich account of both the life of Andrew Jackson and the turbulent transition to "democracy" in the United States. Listening to Brands' words, 175 years after the facts, one can only marvel at how little the political culture has changed, but also at how much one man accomplished, despite his humble beginnings, and lifelong struggles with physical infirmities. Those who wring their hands over the "bitterness" and "divisiveness" of contemporary politics can take heart--it was easily as bad or worse in Jackson's era, as Brands details over issues ranging from slavery to the chartering of a central bank. Jackson's personal journey is an uplifting account of what one deeply-principled person can accomplish, even if some of the principles are considered by some to be flawed.
For those who like deep character development, this will be a fascinating listen. However, there is a constant voice-under in the background that is horribly distracting, and to considerable extent ruins the experience. I simply cannot understand how this was allowed to happen in the first place, and then not corrected prior to publication.
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