Defender of the people.
Breaker of the bank.
Face on the $20 bill.
In American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Jon Meacham has the tall order of trying to present a president who, from what I can tell, was a conflicted and controversial figure in his own time. How does a historian reconcile the disparate accounts, first person and second person and third person records of an individual’s life, and then turn around and present the truth as far as they are able to a general readership? This is the problem of any historian. And Andrew Jackson certainly did not make it easy for his future biographers.
Jackson’s personal history, orphaned at fourteen and victimized by the British troops during the American Revolution; his experience as a soldier; his scandalous romance with a married woman who was officially divorced after her marriage to Jackson; his improbable rise in politics and charismatic devotion to the American people…all make for a good foundation of a great president, right?