Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

by Steve Inskeep


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“The story of the Cherokee removal has been told many times, but never before has a single book given us such a sense of how it happened and what it meant, not only for Indians, but also for the future and soul of America.” —The Washington Post
Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy.
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 who had adopted the ways of white settlers, Ross championed the tribes’ cause all the way to the Supreme Court, gaining allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. 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 like the Civil War and defined the political culture for much that followed. 
Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, who offers 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. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143108313
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 470,090
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)

About the Author

Steve Inskeep is a cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. His investigative journalism has received an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. He is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi. Follow him on Twitter: @NPRinskeep.

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Jacksonland"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Steve Inskeep.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Candice Millard

Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross's epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday, rather than nearly 200 years ago. --Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt

Daniel Feller

Few episodes in American history evoke greater controversy and bitterness than Indian removal and the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Steve Inskeep's Jacksonland brilliantly retells this troubling story. Framing his narrative around the intertwining lives of its two principal actors, President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee Chief John Ross, Inskeep offers an insightful account of the actual events and compelling comment on why they still matter today. Told with pinpoint accuracy, even-handed sympathy, and sparkling prose, this is truly a tale for our times. --Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee, Director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson

Jon Meacham

Steve Inskeep has found an illuminating and provocative way to talk about the American past--and, truth be told, the American present and future, too. By taking us back to the epic struggle between Andrew Jackson and Chief John Ross, Inskeep tells an essential story of geography, greed, and power, and the forces he so clearly delineates are the ones that shape us still. --Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

James McPherson

This narrative of the forced removal of Cherokee Indians from their ancient homeland in the 1830s is framed as a contest between two determined and stubborn adversaries who had once been allies. President Andrew Jackson eventually prevailed over Cherokee Chief John Ross in a conflict that culminated in the infamous Trail of Tears. Steve Inskeep skillfully captures the poignant drama of this tragic tale. --James McPherson, author of Embattled Rebel and Battle Cry of Freedom

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Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Steve Inskeep talked for almost 90 minutes, without notes, about the writing of the book, including the keelboat passage excerpted above. The venue was a repurposed movie theatre filled with "friends of the library", the library being the Knox County Library System of Knoxville, TN. Afterward, Steve took questions from the audience for half an hour, then autographed books for perhaps another hour. It was a wonderful evening! I will let my wife read the book first, but I'll make sure she reads fast!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago