Steve Inskeep

Courtesy / Penguin Press

President Andrew Jackson has become a towering, mythic figure in American history.

In grade school, children learn that he was a man of humble beginnings who rose to become president, of his heroism in war, and of his expansion of the United States.

They also learn about the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Native Americans from their homes in the South and the march to Western reservations, along which thousands died.