Readers and scholars have, for generations, been drawn to the story of the Cherokees, arguably the tribe that assimilated most thoroughly into white society, even establishing plantations, holding African-American slaves, creating a written language, and publishing a newspaper, The Phoenix, in their language. One of the most compelling dimensions of this story is the conflict between John Ridge and John Ross, two charismatic leaders who held opposing perspectives on how to deal with President Andrew Jackson’s plan to remove all Cherokees to Oklahoma. John Ehle wrote a novel that dealt with this conflict, Trial of Tears (1989) and there are several scholarly books, but this is the first popular history treatment. It is John Sedgwick’s 6th non-fiction book to go with two fiction books. He lives in Brooklyn. “A vigorous, well-written book that distills a complex history to a clash between two men without oversimplifying.”—Kirkus Reviews. “The most important history to know is the history that has been deliberately hidden from us. John Sedgwick’s absorbing and ultimately damning story of the destruction of the Cherokee Nation—so that white settlers could pour in and take over their rich lands—finally unearths the ugly but quintessentially American truth about our young nation’s path to expansionism.”—Rinker Buck. “Engrossing . . . Mr. Sedgwick’s account is filled with riveting, often gory details. . . . The harrowing parts of the story add not simply drama but insight . . . Mr. Sedgwick’s subtitle calls the Cherokee story an ‘American Epic,’ and indeed it is.”—H. W. Brands.
New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, a 2019 first paperback edition of a 2018 hardback, 487 pages with an Index, Notes, Selected Bibliography, maps and photos in color and black-and-white. Trade paperback.