Andrew Jackson by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr

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The towering figure who remade American politics—the champion of the ordinary citizen and the scourge of entrenched privilege
     The Founding Fathers espoused a republican government, but they were distrustful of the common people, having designed a constitutional system that would temper popular passions. But as the revolutionary generation passed from the scene in the 1820s, a new movement, based on the principle of broader democracy, gathered force and united behind Andrew Jackson, the charismatic general who had defeated the British at New Orleans and who embodied the hopes of ordinary Americans. Raising his voice against the artificial inequalities fostered by birth, station, monied power, and political privilege, Jackson brought American politics into a new age.
     Sean Wilentz, one of America’s leading historians of the nineteenth century, recounts the fiery career of this larger-than-life figure, a man whose high ideals were matched in equal measure by his failures and moral blind spots, a man who is remembered for the accomplishments of his eight years in office and for the bitter enemies he made. It was in Jackson’s time that the great conflicts of American politics—urban versus rural, federal versus state, free versus slave—crystallized, and Jackson was not shy about taking a vigorous stand. It was under Jackson that modern American politics began, and his legacy continues to inform our debates to the present day.


About Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr

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SEAN WILENTZ is Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University. He is the author of The Rise of American Democracy, which received the coveted Bancroft Prize, and, most recently, The Age of Reagan. He has also received a Deems Taylor Award for musical com­mentary and a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan, Live 1964: The Concert at Philharmonic Hall.
Published April 1, 2007 by Times Books. 195 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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In the end, Wilentz does a solid job of explaining the contributions of the Jackson presidency—and notes that, despite Jackson’s expansionist reputation, during his eight years in office, “Andrew Jackson did not add an inch of soil to the American dominion.” A worthy introduction to the Age of J...

Nov 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Andrew Jackson

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