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The Rise of Andrew Jackson

The Rise of Andrew Jackson

Myth, Manipulation, and the Making of Modern Politics

The story of Andrew Jackson’s improbable ascent to the White House, centered on the handlers and propagandists who made it possible

Andrew Jackson was volatile and prone to violence, and well into his forties his sole claim on the public’s affections derived from his victory in a thirty-minute battle at New Orleans in early 1815. Yet those in his immediate circle believed he was a great man who should be president of the United States.

Jackson’s election in 1828 is usually viewed as a result of the expansion of democracy. Historians David and Jeanne Heidler argue that he actually owed his victory to his closest supporters, who wrote hagiographies of him, founded newspapers to savage his enemies, and built a political network that was always on message. In transforming a difficult man into a paragon of republican virtue, the Jacksonites exploded the old order and created a mode of electioneering that has been mimicked ever since.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / United States / 19th Century

On Sale: October 23rd 2018

Price: $19.99 / $24.99 (CDN)

Page Count: 448

ISBN-13: 9780465097579

What's Inside

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reader reviews


The election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 was a victory for the hero of New Orleans but also for an emerging form of popular politics. David and Jeanne Heidler tell the story of both with verve and insight. At a moment when Jacksonian analogies are rife, their book couldn't be more timely.—H.W. Brands, New York Times bestselling author of The General vs. The President
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"Many thoughtful citizens feared that Andrew Jackson's election in 1828 spelled the death of the Republic, and this book shows why. Written with verve and conviction, it shows how Jackson's handlers first mastered the trick of packaging a volatile character with a checkered history into an irresistible presidential candidate. In The Rise of Andrew Jackson, David and Jeanne Heidler have given us both an eye-popping story and a sober lesson for our time."—Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee, editor of The Papers of Andrew Jacksonspan
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"Vividly written, The Rise of Andrew Jackson unpacks Old Hickory's climb to the White House only to find savvy spinmeisters and shrewd political operatives managing him all the way, often straining to control his legendary temper. In providing this misunderstood part of Jackson's story, the Heidlers paint a fascinating portrait of the bare-knuckles politics of the 1820s, one that resonates today."—David O. Stewart, author of The Summer of 1787
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"Two of my favorite historians, David and Jeanne Heidler, here explain how a determined band of Andrew Jackson's supporters made him President of the United States, and in the process permanently transformed American politics. The story they tell--carefully researched, cleverly constructed, full of ironies and surprises--is poised to become the definitive account of a still controversial electoral campaign."—Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
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