Martin Van Buren And The Emergence Of American Popular Politics / Edition 256

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Overview

"Martin Van Buren was a one-term president whose public life has long been overshadowed by the more fiery personalities of his day - Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun. Nevertheless, Van Buren was a transforming political figure in American history, one of the first of the new republic's professional politicians." In the early part of the nineteenth century, America was skeptical of popular politics, distrustful of political parties, and disdainful of political management. However, as prominent historian Joel H. Silbey demonstrates, Martin Van Buren took the lead among his contemporaries in remolding the old political order as he captured the New York State governorship a seat in the United States Senate, and ultimately the presidency. Silbey argues that Van Buren recognized the need for effective national political organization and, in the process, helped remake America's political culture. Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics takes a fresh look at the life and political career of one of America's most often overlooked, yet most influential, public figures.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Southern History
This is an excellent short biography.
Booknews
Despite the eighth US president (1837-40) being eclipsed by more popular personalities such as Clay, Calhoun, and Jackson, Silbey (history, Cornell U.) treats Van Buren as a an organizer/manager type of leader who was one of the country's first professional politicians. He traces the New Yorker's career in an inter-war period of social unrest, with slavery looming as a major issue. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Fauquier Times Democrat
A satisfying biography of one of our least-known presidents, covering his entire life from start to finish. Silbey offers many fresh and welcome perspectives. . . . [The biography] succeeds as both a concise biography for the casual reader, and a critical re-examination for the seasoned historian. Recommended.
The North Carolina Historical Review
Joel Silbey has produced a fine work on the eighth U.S. president worthy of examination by scholars of the American presidency and political scientists engaged in the study of America's two-party system.
Civil War History
This book makes an undeniably important contribution.
The Historian
Silbey has provided a well-written and concise analysis of [Martin Van Buren's] career.
The Journal Of Southern History
This is an excellent short biography.
The Journal of Southern History
This is an excellent short biography.
William E. Gienapp
In Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics, Joel Silbey draws on his deep knowledge of the Jacksonian era to produce an excellent study of one of the most important political leaders of the early nineteenth century. Silbey's deft analysis of Van Buren's public career, spanning some four decades, highlights his many contributions to the formation of the Democratic party and the development of the second party system. Clearly written, this concise biography offers a sure-handed introduction to the emergence of the American democratic system in the years after 1815.
Harry Watson
Martin Van Buren was hated, ridiculed, and wrapped in mystery during his lifetime, but in later years, he was too often forgotten or misunderstood. Joel H. Silbey has put the 'Little Magician' in proper perspective at last, in this concise, thoughtful analysis of one of America's most pivotal politicians.
William Freehling
In this welcome book, one of our best political historians has given us the best biography of one of our best politicians. Joel Silbey's Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics will be required reading for all interested in the Jacksonian era.
William Shade
Since the 1960s, Joel H. Silbey has been one of the leading political historians in the United States. With Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics, he has produced what is perhaps the best brief introduction to the democratization of the American political process. In his enjoyable biography of the most important early American politician, Martin Van Buren, Silbey provides countless readers with the ideal book about the early republic for students in either survey courses or those upper level courses that deal with the Early Republic.
North Carolina Historical Review
Joel Silbey has produced a fine work on the eighth U.S. president worthy of examination by scholars of the American presidency and political scientists engaged in the study of America's two-party system.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742522435
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/16/2002
  • Series: American Profiles Series
  • Edition number: 256
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel H. Silbey is President White Professor of History at Cornell University. Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of Popular Politics is his thirteenth book.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 The Tavern Keeper's Son: The Making of a Politician, 1782-1812 1
2 "The Partisan Leader" I: Master of the State, 1812-1821 15
3 "The Partisan Leader" II: The Senator from New York, 1821-1828 35
4 The Seats of the Mighty, 1828-1832 59
5 The Democracy's Heir Apparent, 1832-1836 83
6 At the Summit: The Eighth President of the United States, 1837-1841 109
7 "The People Could Not Be Rallied for Van Buren" 137
8 The Partisan Leader at Bay, 1841-1847 159
9 "The Most Fallen Man I Have Ever Known": The Party Leader Becomes a Political Rebel - For a Time, 1848-1852 189
10 Political Afterlife, 1852-1862 207
11 "The Honors of Their Statesman" 217
Suggested Reading 221
Index 225
About the Author 237
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