Fox News’ “FOX & Friends” morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade will visit Fredericksburg’s Barnes and Noble bookstore Saturday from 7–8:30 p.m. to promote his book, “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny,” released Tuesday .
This is the third history-focused book by Kilmeade and co-author Don Yaeger. The first two, “George Washington’s Secret Six” (2013) and “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates” (2015), spent a combined 37 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, culminating in sales of over a million books.
“I’m not writing for the Harvard professor,” Kilmeade said. “I’m writing for an audience who likes a clean, clear, accurate description, certainly respected by historians, but more direct: Get to the point and keep [the story] moving.”
Kilmeade’s Andrew Jackson book concerns a little-known episode in United States history during the War of 1812. Indian tribes, with encouragement from the British, attacked settlers in the West while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. In August 1814, when British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol building and the White House, a feeling of hopelessness dominated the country.
It was at this point that Tennessee native Major General Andrew Jackson led a compilation of frontier militiamen, French-speaking natives, Cherokee and Chocktaw Indians (tribes not aligned with Britain), freed slaves, and even pirates against a far superior enemy force in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous during the battle for New Orleans.
“I think it’s a great American success story and something we need to hear right now,” Kilmeade said. “An underdog victory that defies logic, led by an orphan, a self-taught military man, a man of the people, not one of the well-educated, polished Virginians or New Englanders, who after this battle became the most famous person in the country—it all represents everything great about our country.”
Kilmeade said he loves research, reading about history and finding interesting stories. “It’s like I have a metal detector in my head when I’m reading, when it goes off I want to keep digging,” he said.
Sometimes Kilmeade is reading five books a week to prepare for interviewing the guests on his show.
“Recently I read Ron Chernow’s book about Grant—I had a week before he came on the show and I didn’t quite get it done, but I’ll keep reading,” he said.
Kilmeade, who grew up in Massapequa, N.Y., and lives there still, said he never dreamed he would write books and be a best-selling author.
“I’m unbelievably fortunate to be a part of Fox News, to be exposed to an audience that is extremely patriotic, with a passion for news and history,” Kilmeade said. “I’m like that myself, so the whole experience is very rewarding.”
Kilmeade said he has visited Fredericksburg before and has a great affection for the area.
“I was able to walk through the reconstruction of Washington’s house there at Ferry Farm,” he said. “In fact, they actually gave me a piece of his house and I put it up in my den.”
“We know that the history of Virginia is the history of the country,” Kilmeade added. “It’s a history we should all know and take pride in.”