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The Long, Bitter Trail: Andrew Jackson and the Indians (Critical Issue) Paperback – July 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0809015528 ISBN-10: 0809015528 Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Issue
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1ST edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809015528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809015528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wallace, who won a Bancroft Prize in 1978 for Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village , turns to Native American history in this retelling of the story of the Trail of Tears. This refers to the forced removal in the 1830s of thousands of Indians, particularly the Cherokee and the Choctaw, from the American east to west of the Mississippi River. The author expands his focus to examine the relocation of numerous Indian groups. Central to the story is Andrew Jackson, who assumed the presidency confronted with a government divided over the question of Indian removal and who soon became one of its major proponents. Responses of the Natives ranged from legal action and ultimate resignation on the part of some to warfare on the part of the Seminole. In a concluding chapter, Wallace shows how the effects of removal continue to the present day. All of this is told in a straightforward manner. Although he points to certain well-known white historians who give short shrift to this history, he overstates the uniqueness of his study. While it is a good introduction to the topic, this volume is far from the only modern historical treatment. Two documentary appendixes will be helpful to readers new to the subject.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-The Indian Removal Act of 1830 summarily dismissed the rights of Native Americans to their homelands east of the Mississippi and mandated their relocation to the wilds of the Oklahoma plains. The infamous Trail of Tears is indeed a riveting tale of political expediency, greed, and sorrow. In this book, Wallace recounts in a balanced and clear manner the influences that gave rise to a governmental policy that regulated the disenfranchisement of Native peoples within American boundaries. The author carefully traces the movement and activities of the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles through the Trail of Tears to their eventual destinations and fortunes. While almost scholarly in tone, the calm and precise narrative remains arresting because of the strength of its subject matter.
Carol Beall, Immanuel Christian School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

It is short, it is lucid, it is interesting reading.
J. Hart
This book is amazingly well written and is for both students (like myself who read it in a class) or for casual readers.
Caroline Blanchard
Now I'm getting closer to the subject and am very glad to know that time better...and be justly grateful.
Milton J. Foust

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MarkK VINE VOICE on February 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Few events in American history are as shameful as the removal of the Indians from the American Southeast in the 1830s. Despite prior treaties and remarkable success in assimilating American culture, the tribes in the region - Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles - were driven west by the voracious demand of Americans for land. In this book, Anthony Wallace provides a survey of the development of federal policy towards the tribes in the early 19th century and its impact upon them.

For much of the early 19th century, Indian policy was mired in a conflict between people advocating Indian "reform" (who saw Indians as capable of being taught the ways of white civilization) and proponents of a policy of removing Indians from land slated for settlement. The election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency in 1828 decided this conflict. A westerner with a reputation as an Indian fighter, Jackson sided with removal advocates, endorsing a bill that made removal to lands west of the Mississippi River federal policy.

Though supporters of removal argued that the policy was necessary given the unredeemable savagery of the Indians, as Wallace points out, the success of the tribes in the region undermined this justification. More dependent on agriculture than other tribes, the Indians of the Southeast had an easier time adapting to American cultural standards than their counterparts in other regions, with some tribal members even owning slaves. This didn't save them from removal however, and the Cherokees discovered just how hollow the promise of assimilation was when Jackson ignored a Supreme Court ruling that rejected Georgia's claim of state sovereignty over the Indians, thus depriving the tribes of the only hope of protection from expulsion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Blanchard on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
An Indian activist or just an amature historian, everyone should read this book. Though short, it gives an excellent narrative of the removal of Indians and their trama from the East by the American government. This book is amazingly well written and is for both students (like myself who read it in a class) or for casual readers. Please concider this book to find out more about the emerging stories of what really happened to Native Americans.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Hart on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Simply the best work available on Indian Removal, in my opinion. It is highly regarded among academic historians. Wallace did a tremendous job of writing clearly and making the plight of the Indians understandable to anyone. It is short, it is lucid, it is interesting reading. Plus, it is balanced. This is not a work that treats Indians as childlike, passive victims, but it does convey the injustice and unnecessary hardships to which they were subjected. It also does not portray the government and non-Indian Americans simply as aggressors. It's an important work for understanding what happened to the tribes. It won't take a lot of your time, so do yourself a favor and read it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Milton J. Foust on May 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I cannot say enough about the value of this book to me. I just finished it today and wish it had been MY first book in the subject. My topic of interest is 1832 and the settlement of West Tennessee. I have had scant real knowledge of the era or the place, but long harbored a yearning to know the actual facts as well as sentiment, national and local, of the early days of my home in Alabama and my adult home in West Tennessee. I have skirted the topic of the "Old Southwest," land grants, what effect statehood in Tennessee (1796)--the sixteenth state--had on anything, how were roads built and mail transferred. Now I'm getting closer to the subject and am very glad to know that time better...and be justly grateful.

I kinda sorta knew some of this story of settlement, so selected the topic of West Tennessee settlement for a creative writing project. And was it a winning subject!

Wallace is an accomplished writer with scores of books. It seems he has dedicated himself to the Indian topic; he is also an anthropologist. His short book portrays the essential characteristics of the colonial presidents and the Indians, then brings us up through Jackson's two administrations and the Indian Removal Act of Congress, 1830. The final chapter dips into all the other eastern tribal history and includes briefly 20th century changes with the Indians.

Other fine books of research have more recently been brought forward, specifically my other favorite, Waselkov, Gregory A., "A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814." But Wallace's book, had I read it first, would have plugged me into the era from the start of my research and oriented my knowledge of history, inadequate though it has been.
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