Immensely popular in his own time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in the history of America. The first "common man" to rise to the presidency, Jackson embodied the spirit and the vision of the emerging American nation; the term Jacksonian Democracy is embedded in our national lexicon.
There is no biographer more qualified to tell Jackson's remarkable story than H. W. Brands. With the sweep, passion, and attention to detail that made The First American a resounding hit with readers and critics, Brands shapes a historical narrative that's as fast-paced as the best fiction. He follows Jackson from his early days in South Carolina as a Revolutionary War soldier risking execution to free the tidewater region from the hated redcoats, to his work as a young lawyer and congressman struggling to find his way. More comfortable as a man of action than a legislator, Jackson left Washington to become a businessman and assume the post of general of the Tennessee militia. A fearless warrior and bold leader, he put down a massive Indian rebellion in the South, securing the safety of American settlers. His famous rout of the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 made him a national hero.
It is Jackson's contributions as president, however, that won him a place in the pantheon of America's greatest leaders. A true man of the people, without connections to the Founding Fathers and the elitist aura that surrounded them, as president he sought to make the country an authentic participatory democracy. He was a strong supporter of Manifest Destiny, but his primary concern and focus was the preservation of the Union, whose future was still very much in doubt. When South Carolina, his home state, threatened to secede as a result of a tariff dispute, Jackson made it clear that he would march down with 100,000 federal soldiers if they dared to try.
The tremendous success of Joseph Ellis's Founding Brothers and His Excellency, David McCullough's John Adams, and Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton reflects the public's fascination with the early days of our nation. The first major biography of Jackson in over twenty years, H. W. Brands's magisterial portrait is sure to be greeted with enthusiasm and acclaim.