This book portrays the life of Martin Van Buren, an active architect of the Democratic Party and eighth president of the American republic, who still remains in the public mind as an obscure, if not forgotten, figure of our history. It depicts his rise to legal then political prominence. Van Buren's long-winding road to the White House was marked by the creation of his "Albany Regency", a well-disciplined political machine that he effectively managed through the so-called spoils system and adroitly used to his own political advantage. Blessed with sound political acumen but despised for his constant political manoeuvring, he was know as "the Little Magician" by his firends and enemies alike, with different motives. As president, Van Buren was beset with the Panic of 1837, a strong economic recession resulting mostly from his predecessor's wrong choices, but for which he paid a strong political price. This book details his life and career.