• Trail of Tears

  • The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation
  • By: John Ehle
  • Narrated by: John McDonough
  • Length: 19 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A sixth-generation North Carolinian, highly-acclaimed author John Ehle grew up on former Cherokee hunting grounds. His experience as an accomplished novelist, combined with his extensive, meticulous research, culminates in this moving tragedy rich with historical detail.

The Cherokee are a proud, ancient civilization. For hundreds of years they believed themselves to be the "Principle People" residing at the center of the earth. But by the 18th century, some of their leaders believed it was necessary to adapt to European ways in order to survive. Those chiefs sealed the fate of their tribes in 1875 when they signed a treaty relinquishing their land east of the Mississippi in return for promises of wealth and better land. The U.S. government used the treaty to justify the eviction of the Cherokee nation in an exodus that the Cherokee will forever remember as the "trail where they cried". John McDonough narrates with thoughtful gravity. The heroism and nobility of the Cherokee shine through this intricate story of American politics, ambition, and greed.

©1988 John Ehle (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about Trail of Tears

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Hard to imagine

Although I have lived in Northeast Oklahoma for the past fifty years, I had no idea of the politics, greed, and terrible unfairness that generated overtaking Cherokee land and lifestyle in pursuit of a “superior, civilized, Euro-American culture. This audiobook tells that story in horrific, painful detail. It is history alive, very informative and a pleasure to listen to. I would recommend this volume to anyone who still believes that the American History has been kind to indigenous people and our slave-based economy. It was a very narrow time for the “land of the free” and “home of the brave. “

19 people found this helpful

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Not really about the Cherokee Nation

I was disappointed by this book. The title and subtitle led me to believe that it was primarily about the Cherokee Nation. I
an fact it was more about the actions and behavior of a handful of people who should have stood up for the Cherokee, but betrayed their people for their own personal financial benefit.

12 people found this helpful

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Horrifying

The treatment these Native Americans suffered at the hands of these invaders was outrageous. History of these type situations was not taught in my history classes.

9 people found this helpful

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Slow in places

Very informative. Andrew Jackson was a villain, as I had supposed, but one enmeshed in a political climate such that he had no option - but he could have been less of one. John Ross was a calamity, and basically destroyed his own nation by his willful blindness and fundamental political rapacity. And the people and government of the state of Georgia - where part of my family lived - were evil.

8 people found this helpful

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Very sad.

Will people ever learn to live by the Golden Rule? We all look the same under the skin.

7 people found this helpful

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Everyone Should Know This History

Very long but well worth the listen. I listened to this during the 2016 presidential campaign wherein
one of the candidates wants to build a wall to keep people from other countries out of the USA. Oh the irony.

7 people found this helpful

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Well done

Great book for anyone interested in the history of the Cherokee. It starts 50 years before the trail of tears.

5 people found this helpful

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Like a textbook

I haven't had a book this boring since being required to read school textbooks. Historians have a knack for making the most interesting subjects, including this one, dry as dust. The book is very thorough. Too thorough. Letters and reports are included throughout, verbatim, where summaries or exclusion would have been better. I got the feeling the author was padding to increase word count. Disappointing. I had expected better.

1 person found this helpful

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AMAZING, eye opening!!!

I've heard and read about the Tail of Tears before but this is a window into the American frontier when the frontier was here in western North Carolina. The politics and the events are revealed in this book as I had never any idea of.
I've never like Georgia and now I am resolved to never spend a dime of my money in that state! Also revealing was the insight into Andrew Jackson. The crimes against these people are nothing short of horrific.
It's also eye opening that the Cherokee had slaves and plantations and college educated tribal WELL before the infamous Trail of Tears.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb oration

If you could sum up Trail of Tears in three words, what would they be?

Tragically trying Americanize

What didn’t you like about John McDonough’s performance?

None

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

The performance of Audible was horrible and left me Frustrated by having to start it all over again every time it stopped. It stopped every 5-10 minutes, sometimes more often. I got Audible because I have no time to read and wanted to be able to listen while I work. This makes it almost impossible.

1 person found this helpful