Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832 (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Andrew Jackson: frontiersman and folk hero, victor of New Orleans and defender of womanly virtue, Indian destroyer and enemy of privilege, the wise and patriotic embodiment of his age. Andrew Jackson: brawler and duelist, anglophobe and adulterer, genocidal destroyer of peoples, egotistical manipulator, “King,” economic barbarian. Will the real Jackson please rise and return to settle a century of debate over the seventh president of the United States? Not likely; Andrew Jackson will sleep on at the Hermitage while historians and biographers line up for another hundred years of literary war. Love him or hate him, historians cannot escape the man or the paradoxes swirling about his life.
From his lifetime to the present, those who have written of Andrew Jackson have found the outrageous dichotomies between the man and the movement called Jacksonian Democracy all but indigestible. Each generation since his passing has produced a major historian dedicated to his memory. Every page in George Bancroft’s ten volumes voted for Jackson and democracy. That tradition was amplified in 1860 by James Parton’s solemn panegyric and in 1916 by John Spencer Bassett’s two-volume Life of Jackson. A few—very few—of his human imperfections were restored in Marquis James’s depression-era panegyric of Jacksonian heroism and leadership. Arthur Schlesinger’s Age of Jackson (1945) celebrated Jackson-as-Roosevelt, founder of the...
(The entire section is 2480 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
America. CXLVI, January 23, 1982, p. 59.
Choice. XIX, November, 1981, p. 437.
Kirkus Reviews. XLIX, June 15, 1981, p. 781.
Library Journal. CVI, July, 1981, p. 1412.
The New Yorker. LVII, August 30, 1981, p. 1.
Newsweek. XCVIII, August 17, 1981, p. 73.
(The entire section is 28 words.)