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This work features a biography of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States. His career covered the spectrum of political offices and his genius as a back room strategist earned him the nickname of Little Magician. But, when he succeeded to the White House following his tenure as Andrew Jackson's Vice President, the gift for orchestration that he had enlisted to promote Jackson's cause proved of little avail in advancing his own. At the heart of the problem was an economic depression that persisted through most of his term. Also unpopular was Van Buren's opposition to the expansion of slavery, which led him to block the annexation of Texas to block any addition to slave territory and avoid the possibility of war with Mexico.