Early in Moby-Dick, Melville announces his intention to celebrate the "democratic dignity" of ordinary men. To them he shall "ascribe high qualities, though dark." For support in this endeavor, Melville appeals to the “great democratic God!” the deity "who didst pick up Andrew Jackson from the pebbles; who didst hurl him upon a war-horse; who didst thunder him higher than a throne!"
Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek and author of “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship,” discerns a similar democratic dignity in the seventh president of the United States. But he underplays the consequences of his subject’s darker qualities, especially the fact that, like Captain Ahab, Jackson was willing to destroy everything in order to exact revenge.
American Lion seems appropriate. It was interesting reading how Lincoln early on set himself apart from the Jackson Democrats, siding himself with the Whigs on the leading issues facing America at the time.