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Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation Paperback – September 22, 1997
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Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People" by Thurman Wilkins.
Another fantastic book, which is out-of-print, is:
"Stand Watie and the Agony of the Cherokee Nation" by Kenny A. Franks.
The Franks book deals with the Cherokees and the Civil War.
Some readers will be shocked to discover how pervasive European culture was within significant elements of the Cherokee nation in North Carolina. The curiosity of most readers will be piqued again and again with the factually accurate exposure to the structure of the Cherokee's -- Christian churches, post office, town hall -- how they made a concerted effort to adapt to the European white world in an effort to integrate, and therefore survive, amidst a sea of change occurring during the 19th century.
Mr. Ehle's work has been criticized for its depiction of wealthy, landed Cherokee's as slave owners. This evidence flies in the face of the more contemporary interpretation of the brotherhood of the oppressed alleged to exist between persecuted American Indians and the African slave population. This notion is patently false. At the time, the Cherokees were neither persecuted nor advocates of slave rights. They were, as Mr. Ehle points out, consistently adapting the institutions of the white European settlers, good or bad, and slavery was one of those institutions the Cherokees adopted.Read more ›
I do not recommend this work as an introduction to the Trail of Tears. You should have a good grasp of the people and events leading to North Georgia's Trail of Tears before attempting to read the book since Ehle frequently does not introduce minor characters, and does not spend much time introducing the major characters and events.
The book is well researched but controversial, since there are essentially two sides to the story, that of Major Ridge and that of John Ross. This gives a balanced presentation of both sides, although I suspect that fans of Major Ridge may disagree.
In Trail of Tears, John Ehle (who is, as far as I can tell, non-Native) sketches the people and events that led to the infamous Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokee Nation to "Indian Territory" (primarily Arkansas and Oklahoma) where they would "never" be bothered by whites again. The focus is on the "Treaty Party," consisting of Ridge, his son John Ridge, and his nephews Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie, along with Moravian, Methodist, and other missionaries sent to convert the Cherokees to Christianity and who are caught up in Cherokee/state/federal politics.
Ehle's bias is evident in the title; the "rise" of the Cherokees is the effort, not wholly embraced by the Nation, of adapting to European-American culture, language, religion, and even livelihood (e.g., Cherokee hunting is uncivilized, whereas the adoption of American farming is preferable). The story begins with some background and the birth of a Cherokee man named Ridge not too long before the American Revolutionary War. The white impact has already begun to be felt, as one of Ridge's forebears is white, and he and his family are driven into the wilds by the war.
After the war ends, the new Americans have one craving-land and more land. A gold strike in Georgia adds to the fever. The Cherokee, along with the Choctaw, Creek, and other southern tribes, are perceived as "wasting" land that their white counterparts should be entitled to. From this point on, it is clear that the Juggernaut of American expansionism and greed will displace the Native peoples. The question is only how and when.Read more ›
which educates and entertains, uplifts and depresses, frustrates
and astonishes. The reader becomes painfully aware that the
history we were taught in school virtually ignored an important
part of the American story. The true nature of the Cherokee
is exposed and examined through Ehle's obviously dedicated
research, while throughout the book, the tone is less that of a
documentary, and more that of a story being told, gripping the listener with each new development.
Heroes are exposed as miscreants, and statesmen as traitors to
principles we all hold dear. The reader comes to realize just
how close the Cherokee came to having an entirely different destiny
than the one to which they finally succumbed, and becomes intimately
acquainted with the characters and causes involved therein.
The book is a fast read, an eye-opener, and contains a story
that all people, and especially all Americans, should know and
pass on for generations to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read better but I've also read worse histories of the Native Americans. Some parts of the books dragged and seemed like they were just there to fill pages but there was some... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Kindle Customer
This account was very readable & held my interest throughout. I checked it out of the library in Albany, Georgia &, after reading it, convinced my husband to take a vacation up to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Leblanc
Very interesting for history buffs and those interested in how the Indians were treated and cheated and the duplicity of Andrew Jackson.Published 1 month ago by Jb13
This is a very informative book with a great deal of information. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the Cherokee people and the Trail of Tears.Published 2 months ago by Ronald D. Johnson
My mother was 1/2 Cherokee Indian American and noit until recently did I develop and interest in our family history.Published 3 months ago by Rod Mathis