David S. Brown is the author of several books, including The Last American Aristocrat, Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography. Brown’s timely The First Populist: The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson (Scribner) positions the seventh U.S. president firmly in the forefront of the country’s populist tradition. Jackson rose from rural poverty to become the dominant figure in American politics between Jefferson and Lincoln. His reputation, however, defies easy description. A self-defined champion of “farmers, mechanics, and laborers,” Jackson railed against the established ruling order – fostering a brand of democracy that struck a chord with the common man – while also taking a prominent role in removing Native American peoples from their ancestral lands. Brown examines Jackson’s public career, including the momentous Battle of New Orleans, the far-reaching Bank War, Jackson’s marriage to an already married woman, and his deadly duel with a Nashville dandy, and analyzes his magnetic hold on much of the country at the time. The First Populist connects Jackson and his legacy to a history of division, dissent, and partisanship that has come to define our current times.