The shocking story of the racist George Wallace speechwriter who penned a fake autobiography of an endearing Cherokee orphan (Audio)

tags: racism, George Wallace, Indian

This American Life

Originally aired 6.13.2014

527: 180 Degrees

Act One. Seeing the Forrest Through the Little Trees.

Alex Blumberg takes us to an American classroom where students are reading a classic, The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter. The book is marketed as a simple homespun autobiography of a Cherokee orphan. But public radio documentarian Joe Richman explains that the book is not at all what it seems. The origins of the heartwarming tale of respect for nature and tolerance, are actually filled with hatred, racism and lies. This story was produced by Joe Richman, Sarah Kate Kramer and Samara Freemark of Radio Diaries with help from Nellie Gilles, Deborah George, and Ben Shapiro. (31 minutes) Here's the Radio Diaries podcast, where people can hear the original non-narrated version of this story. And the Radio Diaries Kickstarter campaign.
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