President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson--war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South--whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross--a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat--who used the United States' own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson.
Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes, which had adopted the ways of white settlers--cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school--Ross championed the tribes' cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events, such as the Civil War, and set the pattern for modern-day politics.
At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies' conquest of Native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres in today's Deep South, the "Jacksonland" of our story. Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist
Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR's Morning Edition and author of the critically acclaimed Instant City. Inskeep offers in Jacksonland a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives. Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep's Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men.
Penguin Audiobooks, 9781611764345, 10pp.
Publication Date: May 19, 2015