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ANDREW JACKSON

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A THOUGHT FOR OUR TIMES

It is one of the serious evils of our present system of banking that it enables one class of society--and that by no means a numerous one--by its control over the currency, to act injuriously upon the interests of all the others and to exercise more than its just proportion of influence in political affairs. The agricultural, the mechanical, and the laboring classes have little or no share in the direction of the great moneyed corporations, . . . . unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.

~~~ from Andrew Jackson's "Farewell Address", March 4, 1837.









MARTIN VAN BUREN





[Van Buren] Ted Widmer, MARTIN VAN BUREN. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Henry Holt, 2005). American Presidents Series, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger. 208 pages. ~~~ The first president born after America's independence ushers in a new era of no-holds-barred democracy The first "professional politician" to become president, the slick and dandyish Martin Van Buren was to all appearances the opposite of his predecessor, the rugged general and Democratic champion Andrew Jackson. Van Buren, a native Dutch speaker, was America's first ethnic president as well as the first New Yorker to hold the office, at a time when Manhattan was bursting with new arrivals. A sharp and adroit political operator, he established himself as a powerhouse in New York, becoming a U.S. senator, secretary of state, and vice president under Jackson, whose election he managed. His ascendancy to the Oval Office was virtually a foregone conclusion.Once he had the reins of power, however, Van Buren found the road quite a bit rougher. His attempts to find a middle ground on the most pressing issues of his day-such as the growing regional conflict over slavery-eroded his effectiveness. But it was his inability to prevent the great banking panic of 1837, and the ensuing depression, that all but ensured his fall from grace and made him the third president to be denied a second term. His many years of outfoxing his opponents finally caught up with him.Ted Widmer, a veteran of the Clinton White House, vividly brings to life the chaos and contention that plagued Van Buren's presidency-and ultimately offered an early lesson in the power of democracy.

$20.00






WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON










JOHN TYLER










JAMES POLK





[Polk] Walter R. Borneman, POLK: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Random House, 2008). Illustrations, plates, maps, notes, bibliography, index, 422 pages.
~~~ In Polk, Walter R. Borneman gives us the first complete and authoritative biography of a president often overshadowed in image but seldom outdone in accomplishment. James K. Polk occupied the White House for only four years, from 1845 to 1849, but he plotted and attained a formidable agenda: He fought for and won tariff reductions, reestablished an independent Treasury, and, most notably, brought Texas into the Union, bluffed Great Britain out of the lion’s share of Oregon, and wrested California and much of the Southwest from Mexico. On reflection, these successes seem even more impressive, given the contentious political environment of the time.
~~~ In this unprecedented, long-overdue warts-and-all look at Polk’s life and career, we have a portrait of an expansionist president and decisive statesman who redefined the country he led, and we are reminded anew of the true meaning of presidential accomplishment and resolve.

$30.00



[Polk] John Seigenthaler, JAMES K. POLK. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Henry Holt, 2004). American Presidents Series, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger. 208 pages. ~~~ The story of a pivotal president who watched over our westward expansion and solidified the dream of Jacksonian democracyJames K. Polk was a shrewd and decisive commander in chief, the youngest president elected to guide the still-young nation, who served as Speaker of the House and governor of Tennessee before taking office in 1845. Considered a natural successor to Andrew Jackson, “Young Hickory” miraculously revived his floundering political career by riding a wave of public sentiment in favor of annexing the Republic of Texas to the Union.
~~~~ Shortly after his inauguration, he settled the disputed Oregon boundary and by 1846 had declared war on Mexico in hopes of annexing California. The considerably smaller American army never lost a battle. At home, however, Polk suffered a political firestorm of antiwar attacks from many fronts. Despite his tremendous accomplishments, he left office an extremely unpopular man, on whom stress had taken such a physical toll that he died within three months of departing Washington. Fellow Tennessean John Seigenthaler traces the life of this president who, as Truman noted, “said what he intended to do and did it.”

$20.00