Episode 20: Charles Sellers’ The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 (History of History 5) with Michael Zakim

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In The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846, one of America’s most distinguished historians offers a major reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in United States history. Based on impeccable scholarship and written with grace and style, this volume provides a sweeping political and social history of the entire period from the diplomacy of John Quincy Adams to the birth of Mormonism under Joseph Smith, from Jackson’s slaughter of the Indians in Georgia and Florida to the Depression of 1819, and from the growth of women’s rights to the spread of the temperance movement.

Equally important, he offers a provocative new way of looking at this crucial period, showing how the boom that followed the War of 1812 ignited a generational conflict over the republic’s destiny, a struggle that changed America dramatically. Sellers stresses throughout that democracy was born in tension with capitalism, not as its natural political expression, and he shows how the massive national resistance to commercial interests ultimately rallied around Andrew Jackson.

Discussing this landmark in the study of the Age of Jackson is Michael Zakim.

image002Michael Zakim is associate professor of history at Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1998. He is the author of Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men’s Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860 and Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made and the co-editor of Capitalism Takes Command: The Social Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Dr. Charles Sellers over lunch on April 15th, 2018. We discussed Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, the rise of capitalism in the US, his academic career (particularly The Market Revolution), and his love of bird watching.

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