Get a Robert V. Remini book about Andrew Jackson for one, and "Sherman's March to the Sea" for your other. Books about these two original All-American badasses are sick, especially the one about Andrew Jackson (because he beats the shit out of sleazy people, gets shot, gets in duels, and generally is hardcore).
Oh, and if you want to read about Jackson, Clay, or their contemporaries, don't bother to look beyond Remini. He probably knows more about those people than anybody else in the world. And his books are really interesting.