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Ned Christie: The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero

Narrated by: Stephen Floyd
Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Who was Nede Wade Christie? Was he a violent criminal guilty of murdering a federal officer? Or a Cherokee statesman who suffered a martyr’s death for a crime he did not commit? For more than a century, journalists, pulp fiction authors, and even serious historians have produced largely fictitious accounts of “Ned” Christie’s life. Now, in a tour de force of investigative scholarship, Devon A. Mihesuah offers a far more accurate depiction of Christie and the times in which he lived.

In 1887, Deputy US Marshal Dan Maples was shot and killed in Tahlequah, Indian Territory. As Mihesuah recounts in unsurpassed detail, any of the criminals in the vicinity at the time could have committed the crime. Yet the federal court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, focused on Christie, a Cherokee Nation councilman and adviser to the tribal chief. Christie evaded capture for five years. His life ended when a posse dynamited his home - knowing he was inside - and shot him as he emerged from the burning building. Mihesuah draws on hundreds of newspaper accounts, oral histories, court documents, and family testimonies to assemble the most accurate portrayal of Christie’s life possible. Yet the author admits that for all this information, we may never know the full story, because Christie’s own voice is largely missing from the written record.

The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

“This book will be a refreshing read for those already familiar with Christie's life, and all will find it an intriguing story well told.” (Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., Editor of The Fus Fixico Letters)

“Mihesuah's dedication to research and thoughtful writing leave no doubt that her telling of Ned Christie's story will last long into the future.” (Roy Hamilton, Historian for the Cherokee Nation)

©2018 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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Skip the first chapter

Then you might as well skip to the final chapter. It's usually a bad idea to spend the entire first chapter of a book railing against how everything that has ever been written about a subject is wrong, derivative and biased. Particularly when that chapter takes up nearly 1 hour of a book that's only 7 hours and 16 minutes long. We certainly know that the vast majority of historical accounts of interaction between natives and whites have been skewed unfairly to glorify the latter.

I'll admit that my knowledge of Ned Christie was passing at best upon starting this book, but being assaulted by the screed of the first chapter was off-putting to say the least. But I carried on, hoping perhaps to learn something. What follows are numerous chapters of tangential incidents and characters, Only until the final chapter does any semblance of a coherent story emerge. That clocks in at about 1 hour and 24 minutes. And the recriminations about sloppy or biased reporting continue, the whole way along. I'm genuinely seeking to learn about an important person in Cherokee and American history, but I can't escape these rants against unfair reports (which I came into the book with virtually no knowledge of anyway!). To tell the truth, when these tirades become so vehement, I start to question the objectivity of the current storyteller. Perhaps that's unfair, but it's an honest reaction. But the greatest sin of the book is that even when it gets to the meaty part of the story, it's just not that engaging. It seems like a full accounting of the story could have been done cleanly and concisely in half the time.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful