I wrote a couple of days ago about a special screening event for ANDREW JACKSON: GOOD, EVIL AND THE PRESIDENCY and promised I’d have more info. Well here it is:
Join us on Saturday, December 8, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. at the Downtown Nashville Public Library when NPT presents a sneak peek of the new PBS documentary ANDREW JACKSON: GOOD, EVIL AND THE PRESIDENCY. The afternoon event is free and open to the public and will include clips from the documentary and commentary from executive producer and writer Carl Byker; academic advisor Dan Feller, University of Tennessee professor of history and editor/director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson; and Richard Cowart, board president of The Hermitage, Jackson’s historic home in Nashville. A light reception will follow.
This is going to be a great afternoon event for anyone interested in Andrew Jackson, politics and/or history (especially presidential history).
Here’s a little more about the film:
With re-enactments, lithographs, letters and the insights of distinguished scholars, ANDREW JACKSON: GOOD, EVIL AND THE PRESIDENCY transports viewers into the world of America’s seventh president, who, in one of the boldest political strokes in history, founded the Democratic Party — yet was viewed by his enemies as an American Napoleon. Narrated by Emmy® Award-winning actor Martin Sheen, it tells a story with startling relevance to the modern presidency by bringing to life one of the most remarkable, yet divisive presidents in United States history. ANDREW JACKSON: GOOD, EVIL AND THE PRESIDENCY comes to NPT and PBS stations nationwide on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. CT.
The first president with a nickname, “Old Hickory” was born in a log cabin to poor Scotch-Irish immigrants in 1767 near Camden, South Carolina. He was an orphan by age 13, but rose to become a major general in the United States Army and the seventh president of the United States. He earned his law degree in 1787, and by the following year was the Western District public prosecutor in Nashville, Tennessee, thus beginning a long relationship with the state with which he will forever be associated.
Jackson had strong opinions and equally strong opposition during his eight years as president. That he even made it to the White House surprised and shocked many politicians. His campaign style and tenure as president were turning points in American politics. He was the first president to open the doors of the White House to blue-collar Americans, and he shook up the glossy world of Washington, DC, with his “common-man” methods and ideals, but also oversaw one of the most controversial events in American history: the forced removal of Indian tribes, including the Cherokees, from their homes.
“Is he a president we should celebrate or a president we should apologize for?” asks Carl Byker, the film’s producer, writer and co-director. “Of all the presidents whom Americans have had conflicting feelings about, the one who’s been simultaneously adored and reviled with the most intensity is Andrew Jackson.”
This documentary reveals that Jackson fought in the Revolutionary War when he was 13 years old and used the skills learned in battle to kill a man over a gambling debt; that Jackson led the American Army to the most surprising victory in its history in the Battle of New Orleans, but also launched an unauthorized invasion of Florida; that Jackson was the first great champion of the common white man and owned more than a hundred black Americans; and that Jackson dramatically expanded the United States and did so by brutally wresting vast regions of the South from Native Americans.
“Despite his pivotal role in American history, few television productions have focused on the life of President Jackson,” says Joyce Campbell, presenting station KCET vice president of education and station production executive. “This is one of the first films focused on the complexity of Jackson as a leader. The timing on this is perfect and so relevant in January with so many primaries happening across the United States.”