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He became a legend at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Before that he was a fiercely passionate senator who could barely finish a speech without becoming choked with rage. He was one of our greatest generals, and wholly ignorant of the art of war. He was called coarse and illiterate. A slave owner, land speculator, and Indian fighter, he stole another man's wife, murdered men in duels, and ordered military executions. But Andrew Jackson--or Old Hickory as his soldiers dubbed him--was an impassioned supporter of universal suffrage, an ardent believer in the will of the people, and the seventh president of the United States.

In Jackson, Max Byrd has recreated the life and times of this powerful, controversial, and contradictory man told from a variety of viewpoints, including an unfinished and uncomplimentary biography of the General, a remembrance by his closest personal aide and confidant, and the research of a young writer named David Chase. Chase knows very well that his biography could ruin Jackson's chances in the upcoming presidential election. Still, he is determined to write the first unbiased account of the General's life. Was Jackson really a charismatic demagogue, a crude backwoods barbarian, a representative of the decline of American democracy? Or was there something more behind the public image of war hero, campaign buttons, and emotionally-charged rhetoric? What is revealed is a man even more contradictory than the rumors told about him. Here is a Jackson both savagely honest and politically cunning, a self-made man who always longed to belong, an orphaned boy who grew up with an untamed fury for respect and honor, a man as tough as the Tennessee wilderness from which he came.

With sharply drawn vignettes of such notable figures as John Quincy Adams, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Houston, and others, Jackson is an unforgettable portrait of an America in transition and a man as dangerous as democracy itself.

Genre: Historical

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