Politicos who believe the American presidency wields too much power can blame Andrew Jackson. American Lion, a biography by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, argues that Jackson transformed the presidency from being subservient to Congress to an independent and vital factor in government by crisis and force of will. Jackson made himself the center of every controversy during his two terms and was the first to bypass Congress and to appeal directly to the people. Meacham’s account enlivens and humanizes the guy we see on the front of the $20 bill.
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