For over a century historians have been unable to agree about Andrew Jackson. Was he as Robert Remini has insisted for more than forty years a masterful politician who shaped the modern presidency and ushered in an era of new democratic politics? Or was he, as James C. Curtis and Andrew Burstein have argued, a loose cannon who possessed no vision for the American republic? What historians do not doubt is Jackson's significant and lasting impact on American politics and the nation. To fully assess his role and legacy, one must explore the interaction between his personal and political motivations and the larger developments of the early republic and antebellum period. In Andrew Jackson in Context, Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and author of Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law, offers a detailed look at differing historians' views on Jackson and places these perspectives within an accessible biography of the seventh president.
Warshauer insists that any study of Jackson must place him within the context of his time and that his motivations regarding such pivotal issues as economics and the preservation of the Union cannot be divorced from the very real and turbulent politics of the Jacksonian period. The author discounts the psychological driven theories of authors like Curtis and Burstein, though recognises that Jackson was often a vain, blustering, power-driven man who when he deemed it necessary had no qualms about violating the Constitution. This is an engaging, well-written biography that is perfect for students and those who want to understand not only Jackson and his era, but what historians have written about him.