Brian Kilmeade is the first to admit Andrew Jackson wasn't perfect.

But the general-turned-president did have a gift for bringing people together in a moment that could be described as nothing less than a miracle.

That's how the "Fox and Friends" host depicts Jackson's feat at the Battle of New Orleans in the title of his best-selling book, "Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans."

"He knew that if the British took New Orleans, they would have hold of the Mississippi River," Kilmeade said. "It's taught in school that this was an unnecessary battle because the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed, but the British had every intention of holding on to New Orleans, and if you hold the Mississippi, you stop America's expansion."

So Jackson unified New Orleans' divided inhabitants of Frenchmen, Native Americans, freed slaves, pirates and Kentucky woodsman to defeat the British.

Kilmeade will talk about and sign copies of the newly released paperback version of his book at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Jefferson Baptist Church. Octavia Books will host a talk and signing at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Jewish Community Center in New Orleans.

"Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans" is Kilmeade's third best-selling book of rarely told stories in American history, all three co-written with author Don Yaeger. His first, "George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution," was released in 2013 and the second, "Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History," was published in 2015.

"Andrew Jackson" was first published last October, but Kilmeade's tour didn't bring him to Louisiana.

"I knew I had to make it to Baton Rouge and New Orleans with the release of the paperback," he said. "It's important that I come to the state where this happened."

Kilmeade did travel to New Orleans twice while researching this story he calls a moment in history.

"Historians like David McCullough have done comprehensive books on historical events and personalities, but I knew I couldn't do that," Kilmeade said. "It would take years. But I knew I could grab moments."

Jackson had been on Kilmeade's radar for years as an ultimate symbol of the American dream. His father died in a logging accident before he was born. He became a frontier lawyer before briefly serving in Congress, resigning to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Jackson was appointed a colonel in the Tennessee militia, later became a general in the U.S. Army, then defeated John Adams with a presidential campaign aimed at helping the common man.

"He wasn't an insider, and he started out with nothing," Kilmeade said. "I had no idea of just how much of an American story he was until I started working on this book. He's a full example of what the Constitution says Americans can do."

Jackson's leadership also influenced other presidents.

"And the paperback includes a new afterword that delves into the impact of his leadership on presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan," Kilmeade said.

Kilmeade is now working on a book about Sam Houston.

"Writing about history can be intimidating," he said. "I walked into the San Jacinto Library in Houston, and there are all of these books from 1840 to 1850 written by people who fought with Sam Houston, and I think, 'Where to start?' So, yes, it can be intimidating. But I love writing it."    

Author event

Brian Kilmeade presentation/signing "Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans"

WHEN & WHERE: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jefferson Baptist Church, 9135 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge; 1 p.m. Sunday, Octavia Books at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.


Follow Robin Miller on Twitter, @rmillerbr.