Mr. Ward, who teaches at Princeton, very successfully illustrates his point that Jackson more than marked an age—he...

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ANDREW JACKSON: Symbol for an Age

Mr. Ward, who teaches at Princeton, very successfully illustrates his point that Jackson more than marked an age—he belonged to it. How and why he did are treated in three sections of the book, dealing with the concepts of nature, providence and will respectively, each of which succinctly demonstrates the growth and operation of important trends in American political and philosophical thought. They were based in the logic and practicality of America's growth and revealed themselves as faith in the man of nature whose common sense was unerring, in an imputation to God of a special solicitude for the new United States, and in the ideal of a self sufficient individualism. Sometimes naturally, sometimes from political expediency, Jackson personified these traits and their offshoots. The battle with Adams for the presidency highlights the preference for innate wisdom, untrammeled by the spider webs of book learning that so often seemed to identify itself with the European etiquette and courtliness the frontiersmen repudiated. Jackson at the battle of New Orleans said this in so many words; but further, the victory was divined to have been brought on by God's intervention as well. God was on our side and our destiny later became "manifest." Jackson then was all of these—the man of self determined action, of God's right hand, of natural understanding. Backgrounding and projecting these elements with colorful scholarliness, Mr. Ward remains unbiassed, passing judgment only by withholding praise.

Pub Date: May 18, 1955

ISBN: 0195006992

Page Count: -

Publisher: Oxford

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1955