The Rise of Andrew Jackson: Myth, Manipulation, and the Making of Modern Politics

David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. Basic, $23 (448p) ISBN 978-0-465-09756-2
This substantive book by the historian Heidler spouses (Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President) focuses less on Andrew Jackson’s controversial actions as president than on how he attained that office and, in so doing, permanently altered American political campaigning. Jackson won the presidency by gaining the votes of ordinary white men who viewed him as like them, someone who would be their defender against the entrenched interests of an American aristocracy, but there was nothing accidental about his rise to prominence. As the Heidlers show, it was stage-managed by a number of “managers and handlers” who saw in the hero of the Battle of New Orleans a man who would advance their plans for a national government that was very different in ideology and practice than its predecessors. They are particularly skilled in exploring, in nuance and detail, how a disparate group of politicians, journalists, and fixers created the popularity of a man who had “a nasty temper, a violent streak, and a past littered with appalling lapses in judgement,” setting the template for the modern political campaign of image-building and manipulation of public opinion. This lively and insightful read teaches the reader nearly as much about today’s politics as it does about those of the 1820s. Agent: Geri Thoma, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 10/23/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7616-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7614-2
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