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The First Populist by David S. Brown

A combative, self-described champion of “farmers, mechanics and laborers,” Andrew Jackson railed against East Coast elites and Virginia aristocracy, fostering a brand of democracy that struck a chord with the common man and helped catapult him into the presidency. “The General,” as he was known, was the first president to be born of humble origins, the first orphan and thus far the only former prisoner of war to occupy the White House. Drawing on a wide range of sources, The First Populist takes a fresh look at Jackson’s public career, including the pivotal Battle of New Orleans (1815) and the bitterly fought Bank War; it reveals his marriage to an already married woman and a deadly duel with a Nashville dandy; and analyzes his magnetic hold on the public imagination in the momentous decades between the War of 1812 and the Civil War.


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