The story of Andrew Jackson's improbable ascent to the White House, centered on the handlers and propagandists who made it possible
Andrew Jackson was volatile and prone to violence, and well into his forties his sole claim on the public's affections derived from his victory in a thirty-minute battle at New Orleans in early 1815. Yet those in his immediate circle believed he was a great man who should be president of the United States.
Jackson's election in 1828 is usually viewed as a result of the expansion of democracy. Historians David and Jeanne Heidler argue that he actually owed his victory to his closest supporters, who wrote hagiographies of him, founded newspapers to savage his enemies, and built a political network that was always on message. In transforming a difficult man into a paragon of republican virtue, the Jacksonites exploded the old order and created a mode of electioneering that has been mimicked ever since.
About the Author
David S. Heidler is an author and retired professor.
Jeanne T. Heidler is professor emerita of history at the United States Air Force Academy. They have collaborated on numerous books, including the critically acclaimed Henry Clay: The Essential American and the award-winning Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President. They live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"A revealing...account of what the authors see as the first 'modern' presidential campaign."—Washington Times
"The Heidlers tell an engrossing story that covers a
remarkably complex history in relatively few pages. It is a true page-turner."—New York Journal of Books
"An admirable study of the varied political forces that ensured Jackson's presidential triumph and secured his place in early United States history. Readers will find in The Rise of Andrew Jackson all the political intrigue and drama an election brings."—Claremont Review of Books
"This lively and insightful read teaches the reader
nearly as much about today's politics as it does about those of the 1820s."—Publishers Weekly,starred review
"This insightful history book is the definitive account of an amazing political era in American history and an amazing president.... With their unmatched scholarly credentials, the Heidlers show how President Andrew Jackson shaped the modern American politics that resonates even today. Both scholars and laypeople will benefit from this meticulously researched book that fills a big hole in the scholarship on American history."—Washington Book Review
"A superb chronicle of one of America's first 'modern'
political organizations and national campaigns."—Booklist, starred review
"The Heidlers are careful interpreters of contemporary
politics, deftly limning the issues surrounding Southern sectionalism and
parsing the differences that underlay the electoral battles between John Quincy
Adams and Jackson and their claims to be true heirs to the revolutionary
tradition of the Founders... A thoughtful survey."—Kirkus Reviews
"The election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 was a victory for the hero of New Orleans but also for an emerging form of popular politics. David and Jeanne Heidler tell the story of both with verve and insight. At a moment when Jacksonian analogies are rife, their book couldn't be more timely."—H.W. Brands, New York Times bestselling author of The General vs. The President
"Many thoughtful citizens feared that Andrew Jackson's election in 1828 spelled the death of the Republic, and this book shows why. Written with verve and conviction, it shows how Jackson's handlers first mastered the trick of packaging a volatile character with a checkered history into an irresistible presidential candidate. In The Rise of Andrew Jackson, David and Jeanne Heidler have given us both an eye-popping story and a sober lesson for our time."—Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee, editor of The Papers of Andrew Jackson
"Vividly written, The Rise of Andrew Jackson unpacks Old Hickory's climb to the White House only to find savvy spinmeisters and shrewd political operatives managing him all the way, often straining to control his legendary temper. In providing this misunderstood part of Jackson's story, the Heidlers paint a fascinating portrait of the bare-knuckles politics of the 1820s, one that resonates today."—David O. Stewart, author of The Summer of 1787
"Two of my favorite historians, David and Jeanne Heidler, here explain how a determined band of Andrew Jackson's supporters made him President of the United States, and in the process permanently transformed American politics. The story they tell--carefully researched, cleverly constructed, full of ironies and surprises--is poised to become the definitive account of a still controversial electoral campaign."—Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848