In The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance, historian Paul Kahan explores one of the most important and dramatic events in American political and economic history, from the idea of centralized banking and the First Bank of the United States to Jackson’s triumph, the era of “free banking,” and the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Relying on a range of primary and secondary source material, the book also shows how the Bank War was a manifestation of the debates that were sparked at the Constitutional Convention–the role of the executive branch and the role of the federal government in American society–debates that endure to this day as philosophical differences that often divide the United States.
Paul Kahan earned his Ph.D. in history from Temple University in 2009. He has written numerous books, including Eastern State Penitentiary: A History and The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American Industry. For more information, visit his website at paulkahan.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@paul_kahan) and “like” him on Facebook (facebook.com/pkahan/).