“The white man’s chance” in the sub-title is the key to the distinctive contribution this book makes. The author argues that white people felt that their only chance to flourish was to remove the Cherokees. That is like today’s fear of being replaced by non-whites. And it is not just cruel, but absurd. Old white men love to watch Black women play basketball or listen to music by those who grew up poor or buy products from businesses that immigrants started. Individuals and businesses benefit from the uplifting of all people. It is not “either/or.” End of sermon, back to the book. Another dimension of this book that resonates with the present day similarly to the whole idea of “replacement theory,” is the way that vigilante violence and public policy work in an almost coordinated fashion. Furthermore, Georgia provided a more radical guidepost that was followed partially in states that were not quite so extreme and thus sparked less affront. The author, Adam J. Pratt teaches history at the University of Scranton.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press, a 2022 paperback edition of a 2020 hardback. 240 pages with Index, Bibliography, Notes, and a map. Trade paperback.