An American Betrayal by Daniel Blake Smith
Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears

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The fierce battle over identity and patriotism within Cherokee culture that took place in the years surrounding the Trail of Tears

Though the tragedy of the Trail of Tears is widely recognized today, the pervasive effects of the tribe's uprooting have never been examined in detail. Despite the Cherokees' efforts to assimilate with the dominant white culture--running their own newspaper, ratifying a constitution based on that of the United States--they were never able to integrate fully with white men in the New World.

In An American Betrayal, Daniel Blake Smith's vivid prose brings to life a host of memorable characters: the veteran Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson, who adopted a young Indian boy into his home; Chief John Ross, only one-eighth Cherokee, who commanded the loyalty of most Cherokees because of his relentless effort to remain on their native soil; most dramatically, the dissenters in Cherokee country--especially Elias Boudinot and John Ridge, gifted young men who were educated in a New England academy but whose marriages to local white girls erupted in racial epithets, effigy burnings, and the closing of the school.

Smith, an award-winning historian, offers an eye-opening view of why neither assimilation nor Cherokee independence could succeed in Jacksonian America.


About Daniel Blake Smith

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Daniel Blake Smith is the author of An American Betrayal, The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in Eighteenth Century Chesapeake Society, and many articles on early American history. Formerly a professor of colonial American history at the University of Kentucky, Smith now lives in St. Louis where he works as a screenwriter and filmmaker.
Published November 8, 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.. 336 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Former history professor turned documentary filmmaker Smith (co-author: The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America, 2008, etc.) covers mostly well-trod ground with his searing account of how the Cherokee tribe had to give up its homeland in portions of G...

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of An American Betrayal: Cheroke...

Publishers Weekly

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The story of the Cherokee Nation is a study in suffering, displacement, and the determination of a people to carry on despite brutal government policies that culminated in the “Trail of Tears,” President Andrew Jackson’s 1834 policy of “removal” that saw nearly 4,000 of the 16,000 Chero...

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of An American Betrayal: Cheroke...

Dallas News

The opening pages of this powerful, haunting book tell of the assassinations of three Cherokee statesmen in Tahlequah, Indian Territory, on June 22, 1839.

Nov 25 2011 | Read Full Review of An American Betrayal: Cheroke...

St. Louis Today

An energetic researcher, Smith brings to life Cherokee leaders.

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of An American Betrayal: Cheroke...

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