In 1826, the Cherokee Indian nation of the Tennessee River Valley system owned 27,000 cattle, 46,000 pigs, 726 looms and had 18 schools. Cousins of the Iroquois, the Cherokees were among the most ancient and powerful of North American tribes. They were well on their way toward assimilation into the white man's world, along with four neighboring tribes of the Deep South when, through government decree, the Cherokees and neighboring Indians were forced to sell their native land and resettle west of the Mississippi. Dale Van Every tells the full story of the Cherokee dispossession, using this particular calamity as a symbol of the lost birthright of all North American Indians. ""No aggression in the annals of mankind has ever proved so swift, so successful, so irresistible or so catastrophic to the dispossessed."" Apparently, Mr. Van Every is not familiar with Auschwitz. Although his sympathies lie a little too heavily on the Indian side to make for a truly objective account, the author does give a passable telling of the Cherokee tragedy.