Jon Meacham

Before Reagan chopping wood or Bush clearing brush, there was the original American populist, President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837). No patrician, no Yankee, no Beltway insider (this before the Beltway), he's the rough-hewn subject of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. Meacham, a longtime writer and editor for Newsweek portrays Jackson as a forerunner of direct democracy and man of the people. He fought duels, kept low company, and took Florida from the Spaniards. After our first six uptight chief executives, Jackson was an unvarnished political figure Karl Rove would love today. BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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