Andrew Jackson remains one of America's most extraordinary, influential and at times controversial leaders, defined by a brilliant military and political career that sought to advance the needs of the common man over those of the entrenched elite-in essence, giving rise to the idea of populism.
This powerful TIME special edition, Andrew Jackson: An American Populist, examines the seventh president of the United States, his willful and combative style and his enduring legacy, and why it is so resonant today. Born of humble origins and orphaned as a child, Jackson became a lawyer, a brave and heroic general, and a United States senator before winning the presidency by besting John Quincy Adams, who had been born with great privilege. As a two-term president, Jackson distinguished himself with his skill at consensus-building as well as his quest to rout corruption out of the government. He could at times be woefully wrong: brutal in his treatment of American Indians and an unapologetic slave owner until his death. Yet as a gifted and strong-minded political tactician Jackson delivered significant legislative accomplishments, including keeping South Carolina in the union. After his presidency, Jackson retired to his plantation in Tennessee, the Hermitage, where he remained active in politics until he died. Jackson's life, actions and legacy are as important today as they were in his time. Through unmatched writing and storytelling as well as remarkable illustrations, Andrew Jackson: An American Populist delivers the full essence of the man.