Andrew Jackson was controversial in his time—and even more controversial in our own. Indian fighter, ardent patriot, hero of the War of 1812, the very embodiment of America’s democratic and frontier spirit, Andrew Jackson was an iconic figure.
Today, Jackson is criticized and reviled – condemned as a slave-owner, repudiated as the president who dispatched the Indians down the “Trail of Tears,” dropped with embarrassment by the Democratic Party, and demanded by many to be removed from the twenty-dollar bill.
Who is the real Andrew Jackson? The beloved Old Hickory whom Americans once revered? Or the villain who has become a prime target of the Social Justice Warriors?
Using letters, diaries, newspaper columns, and notes, historian Bradley Birzer provides a fresh and enlightening perspective on Jackson —unvarnished, true to history, revealing why President Donald Trump sees Andrew Jackson as a political role model, and illustrating the strong parallels between the anxieties of Jacksonian America and the anxieties of the “Hillbilly Elegy” voting bloc of today.
Bradley J. Birzer is a professor of history and the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 1999. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. His previous books include Russell Kirk: American Conservative, Neil Peart: Cultural (Re)Percussions, American Cicero: Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth, and In Defense of Andrew Jackson.