Robert Conley begins his survey with Cherokee origin myths and legends. He then explores their relations with neighboring Indian groups and European missionaries and settlers. He traces their forced migrations west, relates their participations on both sides of the Civil War and the wars of the twentieth century, and concludes with an examination of Cherokee life today.
Conley provides analyses for general readers of all ages to learn the significance of tribal lore and Cherokee tribal law. Following the history is a listing of the Principal Chiefs of the Cherokees with a brief biography of each and separate listings of the chiefs of the Eastern Cherokees and the Western Cherokees. For those who want to know more about Cherokee heritage and history, Conley offers additional reading lists at the end of each chapter.