An American Holocaust, The Story of the Cherokee Displacement


By Steve Inskeep

Jacksonland is an American story, a tragedy. It is about greed, white man’s destiny, struggle and death. It is a story not well known and one everyone should hear.

As the title suggests, Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” writes about the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Yet the book is more than your traditional presidential biography.

Jacksonland is a narrative about the plight of the Native American. It is a story focused on the Cherokee Tribe and how the American government purloined Cherokee lands and removed the tribal citizens westward en masse. Jacksonland is a story of how one population was forcefully cordoned off from the American Democracy experiment.

Inskeep begins this American story with the friendship between war hero, General Andrew Jackson, and his military compatriot and Cherokee chief, John Ross. These wartime comrades soon become enemies.

After winning a contentious election for the presidency of the United States in 1829, Jackson began to implement his initiative to expel Native Americans from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. He intended to relocate them in the western territories, grabbing their land for white settlers.

Jackson promised his compatriot John Ross, a mixed-race Cherokee politician, that the indigenous populations would receive all the benefits afforded countrymen if only the tribes adopted the “civilized ways” of white Americans.

In keeping with politics, it was a promise not kept.

The Cherokee were instead commanded to voluntarily leave their farms and communities, which had been their homes for generations. John Ross took the Cherokee’s battle to the United States Supreme Court and won!

However, President Jackson chose to ignore the court’s decision. Native Americans in Tennessee and Georgia were forcibly removed from their homes at gunpoint, crowded into internment camps before being loaded into train boxcars and barges for involuntarily transport to the undeveloped wilderness.

A missionary, who lived among the Cherokees, described them as “prisoners who had been hurled from comfortable circumstances into abject poverty.” Many were forced to walk hundreds of miles. The internment camps were death traps and thousands died there from starvation. Thousands more died during the march westward from epidemic diseases. It was America’s Holocaust.

While this tragedy contemporaneously unfolded during the time of slavery, the country was rather immune to the plight of the Native American and their relocation. There were some parallel movements to abolition movement that sought to protect the Native American, but their violent and forceful relocation does not receive the same coverage and condemnation in American history books.

Jacksonland provides an in-depth look at the oft overlooked and forgotten plight of Native Americans in the United States. If you are a history buff and concerned about the stories not told publicly, then Inskeep’s Jacksonland is for you.

Girl Dating to a New Best Friend

best friendMWF Seeking BFF
by Rachel Bertsche

Reading Challenges: 20 In Your 20s

Amazon | Goodreads

Reading challenges: 20 In Your 20s

Rachel Bertsche’s memoir about her innovative approach to finding a new best friend will keep you laughing, cringing with sympathy embarrassment, and nodding along in recognition of your own thoughts put to paper.

Having moved to Chicago to be with her husband, Bertsche left her two childhood best friends in New York City. After three years of work, mild acquaintances, and loneliness, Bertsche decides to do something about her lack of a local best friend. Read more

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Mini-Review: The House on Seventh Street

Mini-Review: The House on Seventh Street

This past week I started The House on Seventh Street audiobook. I don’t regularly listen to audiobooks and, in all honesty, this is only my second attempt at listening to a book. However, publishing company, BookTrope, offered me a free copy of the audiobook in honor of its recent release so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m only part way through the book at the moment, but the story has captured my attention. Continue below for an “at-this-moment” review.

To celebrate the release, BookTrope is also having a sale on the ebook. For a limited time, you can purchased The House on Seventh Street ebook for only $0.99. Buy the book from Apple, Barnes and Noble, or AmazonRead more

The Group — Mary McCarthy’s novel of 1930s women

Mary McCarthyThe Group
by Mary McCarthy

Reading Challenges: 20 In Your 20s

The Group by Mary McCarthy follows eight girls through the experiences of adulthood, marriage, and careers in Depression-era New York City. The upper-middle class women each have their own vignette played-out over various chapters. One woman is the focus of each chapter even though various characters pop in and out of the narrative. Read more

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

To Kill A Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Reading Challenges: Read Like Rory


Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is assigned reading in most middle schools and high schools. I can still recall sitting in 8th English talking about Scout and Atticus Finch. As I aged, these memories stuck with me and Scout, Atticus, and Boo Radley were recognizable names. Their personalities and stories, however, were replaced by other characters and other memories.

Read more

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Anthropology of an American Girl

anthropology of an american girl

Anthropology of an American Girl
by Hilary Thayer Hamann


When I first picked up “Anthropology of an American Girl,” I approached it with sarcasm. A friend of mine had joked about developing an American Studies class about the elusive American Girl. My response to him was that Hilary Thayer Hamann’s book could potentially be the textbook. After reading Hamann’s work, though, I am flabbergasted and regret my prior scoffing. Read more

Strength in Vulnerability – A review of Brain On Fire

brain on fire

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan


You’re a vibrant woman in her twenties with the beginnings of a great career in journalism, an attentive boyfriend and an apartment in New York City. One day you wake up in a hospital, delirious, restrained and with no memory of how you got there. Your family and boyfriend can’t recognize the person you have become.

It sounds like the makings of a psychological thriller or a horror movie.

For Susannah Cahalan it was her very real, living nightmare. Read more

Misdirection (Rusty Diamond Trilogy)

Misdirection (Rusty Diamond Trilogy)


by Austin Williams



*This post is the 2nd stop on the Misdirection blog tour.

Austin Williams’ first book in the Rusty Diamond Trilogy is aptly named. At every turn of the plot there is a sleigh-of-hand misdirecting the reader from Rusty’s next move.

As a thriller and crime book centered around an ex-magician I thought Misdirection was too far outside of my genre comfort zone. However, as with magic, this book took me completely by surprise! Read more