High-strung, scarcely literate, combative, vengeful, power-hungry, and corrupt: The adjectives could come from any headline covering presidential politics, but here they center on a president elected in 1828 with a powerful machine behind him.
In The Rise of Andrew Jackson, David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler essentially take the Rogin view. The Heidlers, who in 2010 published a sensitive and luminous biography of Jackson’s great rival Henry Clay, here trace Jackson’s life through his 1828 presidential election, when he won his first presidential term ... The Heidlers are fine historians; their Clay biography is rich in detail and literarily vibrant. Clearly in the epic political struggle between Clay and Jackson, Clay is their man. They have rendered here a picture of Jackson that seems pretty close to what that great Kentuckian would have written back in the day.
Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Andrew Jackson, who he perceives as a 'man of the people' who was direct, impatient with diplomatic niceties, iron-willed, and bold and decisive in both his military and political careers. According to the Heidlers, the 'real' Jackson was dangerously impulsive and prone to violence ... This is a superb chronicle of one of America’s first 'modern' political organizations and national campaigns.
The Rise of Andrew Jackson makes a great introduction to the legend, the man, and his political network that created not just a president but also an epoch in American history ... The Heidlers tell an engrossing story that covers a remarkably complex history in relatively few pages. It is a true page-turner.