News on Bus Crash Documentary

Check out this news story about our recent $40K grant to help fund our Impact documentary:  http://www.lex18.com/news/documentary-on-carrollton-bus-crash-gets-grant/

What historical events or topics are you most interesting in reading about?

Remembering The Forgotten

When I first considered writing a book about the Cherokees and the Trail of Tears, I recall my publisher at Henry Holt telling me, ‘Dan, books about Indians don’t sell too well.’  Forcibly moved (or killed off) by settlers since the beginning of contact, they ultimately became an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ people.  Except, of course, when it comes to their casinos.

But I persevered, believing then and now that native American history offers revealing and instructive insights into who we are as Americans.  And a lot of gripping—if often tragic—stories to tell.  Besides, ever since “Dances with Wolves,” it’s become fashionable to be connected somehow to native peoples.  Think of all the white bread Americans who love to lay claim to their Cherokee or Navajo or any other Indian ancestry.

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An American Betrayal interview with Macmillan/Henry Holt

Daniel Blake Smith interviewed with his publisher, Macmillan/Henry Holt, about his upcoming book An American Betrayal Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears. The audio interview can be heard here.

Hear It Now

Patriots or Pariahs

Ironically, my first take on the Trail of Tears, came as a film. About six years ago I began working as the writer on a documentary about the Cherokees’ experience on the Trail of Tears. And when it was done, it was thrilling to hear my narration read by James Earl Jones (part Cherokee himself). In researching that story and conducting interviews of Cherokee storytellers, political leaders as well as historians, I quickly realized that there was also a very good book here, a strong narrative story that hadn’t really been told. A story about a fierce battle over identity and patriotism within Cherokee culture as well as the more obvious drama about the forcible removal of entire nations from their ancestral homeland.

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