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The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series (Penguin's Library of American Indian History) Hardcover – Box set, July 5, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin's Library of American Indian History
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; annotated edition edition (July 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067003150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670031504
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This compact book by eminent historians Perdue and Green moves from the time when all Cherokees lived in the southern Appalachians to their forced expulsion to the Indian Territory, as American policy morphed from civilizing Native Americans to what might today be deemed ethnic cleansing. The Indian Removal Act (1830) fixed in law a revolutionary program of political and social engineering that caused unimaginable suffering, deaths in the thousands, and emotional pain that lingers to this day. It's a tangled tale of partisan politics and Cherokee power struggles, of juridical argument and economic motive, of bitter personal disputes and changing public policy. Perdue (Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Southeast) and Green (The Cherokee Removal) have written a lucid, readable account of the legal complexities of the 18th-century right of conquest doctrine and the 19th-century emerging doctrine of state rights; the treaties, alliances, obligations and assurances involved; and the landmark cases Cherokee v. Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia (one effectively denying Cherokee self-government, one ineffectively affirming Cherokee sovereignty). Over it all hangs the disquieting knowledge that in the history of interaction between Euro-Americans and Indians, Cherokee removal [exemplifies] a larger history that no one should forget. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Perdue and Green illuminate the Cherokee experience, beginning with their first contact with Europeans, around 1540, when the De Soto expedition visited their southern Appalachian territory. Their numbers were decimated by waves of epidemics beginning in 1697, and they ceded half their land to the British in the mid–eighteenth century. The U.S. government first attempted to "civilize" the Cherokees, but after the War of 1812, the policy of removal took precedence, as the Cherokees and their allies lost the battle of tribal nationalism versus states' rights. After 1836 the Trail of Tears, as the deportation of thousands from their homeland is now called, began in earnest. Donovan, Deborah
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading about what really happened.
Janice M. Beyer
I recommend this book to all who are interested in Cherokee history and those who wish to learn the truth of the American Government vs the Native Americans.
dalonige ugidali
Chief Justice John Marshall was among the cast of characters in settling the fate of Native Americans east of the Mississippi.
R. Setliff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Since I was a little boy my dad has talked about the "Trail of Tears". My father has always been sympathetic to the plight of Native Americans and has been generous to their causes over the years. And so when I happened upon "The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears" at my local bookstore I felt compelled to read more about it. Co-authors Theda Perdue and Michael Green are both history professors at the University of North Carolina. They have put together a marvelous little book that provides the background and context for fully understanding the events that took place in the Cherokee Nation during the 1830's. I found that what my dad had tried to impress on me was true. This was indeed one of the most shameful episodes in American history.

Removal of Native Americans was certainly nothing new in the 1830's. It had happened any number of times before commencing with the removal of the Acadian people from Northern New England and Nova Scotia to Louisiana in the 1750's. But the Cherokees, under principal chief John Ross, had for many years tried to work with and accomodate the American government whenver possible. Time and again the Cherokees were the victims of broken promises from both the federal government and the state governments in Georgia and Tennessee. Seems like the treaties our government signed with the Cherokee nation were not worth the paper they were written on. The State of Georgia and its leaders were particularly harsh in their dealings with the Cherokees. The greed and ruthlessness exhibited by the leaders of Georgia would rear its ugly head again later on over the issue of slavery. Meanwhile, an increasing number of Cherokee leaders became convinced that the best option for survival would be to relocate the tribe to the Western lands the U.S.
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Format: Hardcover
For its brevity and diminutive size, this book contains a wealth of information. Theda Perdue and Michael Green have compiled an interesting and compelling narrative on the events that lead to and followed the Trail of Tears tragedy.
I have long known of my Cherokee ancestry and the perils my 3X-Great-Grandfather endured as he was forced from Georgia with his two small children.
This is not one of those books that portends to criticize all whites or the entire U.S. government for the injustices Cherokees undoubtedly endured. Instead, Perdue and Green square much of the blame for forced relocation on Georgia's state officials who held nothing but contempt for treaties signed by the federal government with recognized tribal leaders. "The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears," considers the fact that frequently good natured attempts to cooperate with the Cherokee Nation failed as much as opportunistic whites and political whims of the day sabotaged further efforts for an amicable and just relationship.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Harry M. Shin VINE VOICE on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
1. I know that I'm the lone voice here and I admit upfront that I'm not an expert on this topic nor a hardcore historian... which is precisely why I was looking forward to this book (ie to learn something about an important historical event that I've heard about since my youth).

2. Without a doubt the content / data within the book is well assembled, however this is suppposed to be a book review. Many can put together various facts, all of which may be interesting and "true", but that does not make a good book. Unfortunately, this "book" is written in a style that is more suited for a college textbook or an encyclopedia, both of which have their places in learning.

3. Thus, for those who don't mind reading dry historical data, akin to those found in a textbook or encyclopedia, this is the book for you. On the otherhand, if you want to read a well written historical book (akin to those written by Ambrose, Ellis etc...), then find another book on the Cherokee Nation.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Setliff on December 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
~The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears: The Penguin Library of American Indian History~ is an intriguing and sad look at the Cherokee nation, one of the nations in what was called the five civilized tribes, which included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Perdue and Green, both specialists in Native American history, have collaborated to produce a fascinating account of the beleaguered Cherokee nation.

This short narrative history offers a backdrop to the history of the Cherokee Nation from hollowed antiquity to its first contact with the European world, and the uneasiness that ensued in the nineteenth century as white settlements fast encroached upon Cherokee land. A plague of European disease devastated the Cherokees in the earlier centuries of the European exploration of the New World. The Cherokee nation was unified in the early 18th century under the Emperor Moytoy, with the aid of an English envoy, Sir Alexander Cuming. In 1730, at Nikwasi, Chief Moytoy II of Tellico was chosen as Emperor by the Elector Chiefs of the principal Cherokee towns. Moytoy recognized the British king, George II. A delegation of seven prominent Cherokee traveled with Sir Alexander Cuming back to England, and stayed for four months. The visit culminated in a formal treaty of alliance between the British and Cherokee, the 1730 Treaty of Whitehall, which acknowledged Great Britain as the Cherokee protector. In 1785, following the wake of the War for Independence, the Treaty of Hopewell acknowledged the Cherokee Nation. In 1792, George Washington appointed an agent to the tribe, which represented their interests vis-a-vis the United States government. So enamored was this agent with the Cherokee people, he took up a Cherokee bride, and fiercely contested on behalf of their interests.
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