Martin Van Buren
Children's Press, 2004 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 32 pages
Mike Venezia once again uses his winning formula of combining humor with history to make learning fun. Each book in this series is an appealing mix of full-color historical images and photos, Mike's hilarious cartoon-style illustrations, and simple, factual text describing each person's path toward the nation's highest office. These biographies are peppered with humbling and funny anecdotes that bring out the humanity of each of these historical figures and help kids realize that these were real people--not just names from history books. Van Buren's parents owned a tavern in Kinderhook, NY, and as a boy, Martin loved listening to visitors argue about politics. As a young lawyer, he became very involved in New York politics and held eight political offices before becoming Andrew Jackson's vice president and then president himself. In fact, Van Buren's greatest contribution was not as president, but as the man who is largely responsible for the creation of the American political system. He was famous for bringing in votes for candidates he supported by rewarding people with jobs, and helped found the Democratic Party. It was his idea that having a strong, solid political party was the best way to defeat an opponent in an election.
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