Jessica: Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren and the American Political System, by Donald Cole

As much as this biography was written in a very academic format there were times when I just couldn’t put it down (strange right)? Maybe it was the fact that going into this book I only knew two things about Martin Van Buren, the first being his name, and the second was that he was the 8th president of the US. Fairly obvious but I do believe that is what 99% of the population know about Van Buren as well.

Sure Van Buren wasn’t a memorable president. He didn’t have the stature of Washington, the speaking ability of John Adams, he wasn’t as debonaire as Jefferson, and he certainly didn’t have the temper or hot-headedness of Jackson, but he did posess an ability to “puppet master” the best of them and earned himself the nickname of “Little Magician”.

Van Buren was a master at looking at an issue without a strong opinion one way or the other and then crafting his stance on the issue in a way to use it to his ability to succeed. Although he straddled the fence on many important issues at the time, he was a firm believer in a two-party system and fought for the same throughout his political career.

In my opinion Van Buren was the first president to take office that was a true politician and was able to manipulate the system and the public. He is the first president that I have read about who reminds me of the politicians of today.

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