Bound together by segregation, the inherent dangers of mining, and coal company paternalism, it might seem that black miners and mountaineers would be eager to forget their past. Instead, members of the EKSC have chosen to celebrate their Harlan County roots. African American Miners and Migrants uses historical and archival research and extensive personal interviews to explore their reasons and the ties that still bind them to eastern Kentucky. The book also examines life in the model coal towns of Benham and Lynch in the context of Progressive Era policies, the practice of welfare capitalism, and the contemporary national trend of building corporate towns and planned communities.
What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive?
Central Appalachia and south Wales were built to extract coal, and faced with coal’s decline, both regions have experienced economic depression, labor unrest, and out-migration. After Coal focuses on coalfield residents who chose not to leave, but instead remained in their communities and worked to build a diverse and sustainable economy. It tells the story of four decades of exchange between two mining communities on opposite sides of the Atlantic, and profiles individuals and organizations that are undertaking the critical work of regeneration.
The stories in this book are told through interviews and photographs collected during the making of After Coal, a documentary film produced by the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University and directed by Tom Hansell. Considering resonances between Appalachia and Wales in the realms of labor, environment, and movements for social justice, the book approaches the transition from coal as an opportunity for marginalized people around the world to work toward safer and more egalitarian futures.
Chosen by Rachel Hadas as the winner of the Arkansas Poetry Award, Anne & Alpheus: 1842–1882 is a compelling duet of monologues between a frontier man and woman surviving the hardships and recording the small triumphs of life in rural nineteenth-century Kentucky.
Ambitious in breadth and scope, these poems chart the loves and losses of early marriage, the terrors of civilian life during the Civil War, and the universal sorrows of aging, loneliness, and death. Through the distinct voices of Anne and Alpheus Waters, Joe Survant has fashioned a collection with all the sweep of a novel, all the dramatic intensity, poem by poem, of short fiction, and all the earthy, human lyricism of the dramatic monologue. These poems take us into the tobacco sheds, put us behind the plow, let us smell the soil, and
carry us under the stars where Anne and Alpheus walked.
In Beyond Mammoth Cave: A Tale of Obsession in the World’s Longest Cave, James D. Borden and Roger W. Brucker provide gripping first-person accounts of the discoveries, including Roppel Cave, that made Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave three times longer than any other cave in the world.
Borden, a relative newcomer, and Brucker, a veteran explorer, bring a personal and sometimes conflicting view of their roles as adversaries in a race that lasted from 1972 through 1983 to find “big cave.” They describe hazardous adventures, precarious climbs, and close calls from falling rocks. The perils are many and the trek arduous as they squirm through muddy tubes, wade in neck-deep cold water, and crawl over sharp rocks and gritty sand. Theirs is a tale of agonizing endurance spiced by spectacular discoveries.
But the cave was not the sole obstacle. The explorations were complicated by political intrigue and the rivalry between the Kentucky-based Cave Research Foundation and the Central Kentucky Karst Coalition, each seeking to make discoveries and hide secrets. Extreme stress, of course, evoked extreme behavior, ranging from selfishness to sacrifice, from outrageous humor to the deadly serious response.
Beyond Mammoth Cave includes maps by Patricia Kambesis that show the progression of cave discoveries in relation to the topography. Original line drawings by well-known illustrator Linda Heslop capture the dark mystery of the exploration. The book features five black and white photographs as a color gallery of photographs.
A sequel to The Longest Cave by Brucker and Richard A. Watson, this book is a comprehensive update of the speleological investigations in the Mammoth Cave region. Brucker’s involvement provides continuity to the investigation.
Acclaimed author Erik Reece spends a year beside a rural Kentucky stream, in close observation of the natural world’s cycles, revelations, and redemptions.
A critic once wrote that Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon was about two things: Yugoslavia and everything else. Something similar might be said about Clear Creek. In this boundary-defying work, Erik Reece spends a year beside the stream in his rural Kentucky homeplace, tracking the movements of the seasons, the animals, and the thoughts passing through his mind.
Clear Creek is a series of vignettes that calls us out of our frenzied, digitized world to a slower, more contemplative way of being. Reece’s subjects range from solitude and solidarity to the intricacies of forest communities, and from the genius of songwriter Tom T. Hall to reforestation projects on abandoned strip mines. A work of close observation and carefully grounded insights, Clear Creek articulates a nature-based philosophy for pondering humanity’s current plight.
Harriette Simpson Arnow is an American treasure. Of the twenty-five stories in this collection, fifteen were previously unpublished. Until now, the short fiction of Arnow has remained relatively obscure despite the literary acclaim given to her novels The Dollmaker and Hunter’s Horn. These stories, written early in her career for the most part, reveal an artistic vision and narrative skill and serve as harbingers for her later work. They echo her interest in both agrarian and urban communities, the sharpening of her social conscience, and her commitment to creating credible and complex characters. This collection is organized against the backdrop of her life, from Kentucky in the 1920s to Ohio and Kentucky in the 1930s and to Michigan in the 1940s. As Arnow fans read these early gems, they will be led from gravel roads to city pavement and open layers of Arnow’s development as a novelist to expose the full range of her contributions to American literature.
In 1938, Esquire purchased "The Hunters," which was eventually published as "The Two Hunters," a chilling story of a seventeen-year- old boy’s confrontation with a deputy sheriff. At the time, Esquire did not accept submissions from women, and its editors had no idea that writer H. L. Simpson was not a man. Years later, she admitted in an interview, "it worried me a little, that big lie, but I thought if they wanted a story, let them have it." Esquire paid her $125 for this story. The contributor’s notes at the back of the magazine include a photo of "H.L.Simpson," actually a photo of one of her brothers-in-law. It was her little joke on a publisher that discriminated against women....
—from the Introduction
In Creekside, dedicated archaeologist Meg Harrington guides her students in a race against time to protect the legacy of the past before bulldozers rip it to shreds.
The setting is a Kentucky pasture slated for development—the construction of the new Creekside subdivision. Once, that same beautiful stretch of land was home to three generations who experienced love, loss, and tragedy in their log cabin beside the creek. It was here during the late 18th century that Estelle Mullins struggled to build her home on the dangerous frontier.
In Meg’s 21st-century world of archaeology we read about excavation techniques, daily experiences at a dig, tight construction deadlines, the use of heavy equipment, report writing, artifact analysis, damage from looters and collectors, and the reality of site destruction in the path of modern development. The depiction of Estelle’s frontier life includes Kentucky’s early Euro-American settlement of the Cumberland Gap, encounters with Shawnee defending their land, Protestant fragmentation, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the immigrant stampede down the Ohio River, and the persistent issue of class-based land ownership.
The two partially interwoven story lines link artifact and place, ancestors and descendants, the present and the past, and inspire us to explore the personal connections between them all in fresh and vital ways.
By the end of the Civil War, Champ Ferguson had become a notorious criminal whose likeness covered the front pages of Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated, and other newspapers across the country. His crime? Using the war as an excuse to steal, plunder, and murder Union civilians and soldiers.
Cumberland Blood: Champ Ferguson’s Civil War offers insights into Ferguson's lawless brutality and a lesser-known aspect of the Civil War, the bitter guerrilla conflict in the Appalachian highlands, extending from the Carolinas through Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. This compelling volume delves into the violent story of Champ Ferguson, who acted independently of the Confederate army in a personal war that eventually garnered the censure of Confederate officials.
Author Thomas D. Mays traces Ferguson's life in the Cumberland highlands of southern Kentucky, where—even before the Civil War began—he had a reputation as a vicious killer.
Ferguson, a rising slave owner, sided with the Confederacy while many of his neighbors and family members took up arms for the Union. For Ferguson and others in the highlands, the war would not be decided on the distant fields of Shiloh or Gettysburg: it would be local—and personal.
Cumberland Blood describes how Unionists drove Ferguson from his home in Kentucky into Tennessee, where he banded together with other like-minded Southerners to drive the Unionists from the region. Northern sympathizers responded, and a full-scale guerrilla war erupted along the border in 1862. Mays notes that Ferguson's status in the army was never clear, and he skillfully details how raiders picked up Ferguson's gang to work as guides and scouts. In 1864, Ferguson and his gang were incorporated into the Confederate army, but the rogue soldier continued operating as an outlaw, murdering captured Union prisoners after the Battle of Saltville, Virginia.
Cumberland Blood, enhanced by twenty-one illustrations, is an illuminating assessment of one of the Civil War's most ruthless men.
Ferguson's arrest, trial, and execution after the war captured the attention of the nation in
1865, but his story has been largely forgotten. Cumberland Blood: Champ Ferguson's Civil War returns the story of Ferguson's private civil war to its place in history.
The largest battle fought in Kentucky during the American Civil War occurred at a small, crossroads town named Perryville. As Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Heartland Offensive sputtered through Kentucky, Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s reformed Army of the Ohio pursued the Army of the Mississippi and clashed with its rearguard just outside Perryville. Believing that he faced only a part of Buell’s army, Bragg ordered an assault on the Union left flank which resulted in Confederate victory. However, that evening Bragg determined the Army of the Ohio outnumbered him three to one and quickly decided to retreat. Outmanned, outmaneuvered, and lacking supplies and reinforcements, Bragg retreated through the Cumberland Gap into East Tennessee, and Kentucky remained in Union control for the rest of the Civil War.
Decisions at Perryville explores the critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders during the battle and how these decisions shaped its outcome. Rather than offering a history of the battle, Larry Peterson hones in on a sequence of critical decisions made by commanders on both sides of the contest to provide a blueprint of the Battle of Perryville at its tactical core. Identifying and exploring the critical decisions in this way allows students of the battle to progress from a knowledge of what happened to a mature grasp of why events happened.
Complete with maps and a driving tour, Decisions at Perryville is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a concise introduction to the battle can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the campaign and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.
Decisions at Perryville is the twelfth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.
Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment. In Driven toward Madness, Nikki M. Taylor brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.
Taylor, the first African American woman to write a history of Garner, grounds her approach in black feminist theory. She melds history with trauma studies to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery’s legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.
Wesler provides an impressive and definitive compilation of more than 70 years of archaeological excavations at one of the most important archaeological sites in Kentucky.
The Wickliffe Mounds site is located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky, about three miles south of the mouth of the Ohio River. Around A.D. 1100, Mississippian people--farmers and traders with a culture closely related to the historic cultures of the Southeast (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and others)—created a settlement there on which they lived for approximately 250 years before moving on.
In 1930 road construction cut a channel through the site, revealing archaeological deposits and bringing the area to the attention of Fain King, a local lumberman and entrepreneur. King bought the site in hopes of turning it into an attraction for the education and entertainment of the public, and not incidentally for his own profit. For more than 50 years the area was subjected to excavations ranging from looting to professional research efforts. In 1983, the site was finally turned over to Murray State University to be developed into an academic facility dedicated to research, student training, public education, and preservation of the site and its collections. Fortunately, the Wickliffe collections include all the early excavation records as well as more than 85,000 artifacts, 90% of which had been catalogued. Between 1984 and 1996 excavations were conducted specifically to affirm questionable data and/or fill in gaps in the Wickliffe archaeological record.
In this volume, Wesler and his colleagues have compiled data from almost seven decades of excavations at Wickliffe Mounds, providing the first comprehensive study of this important site. The paperback version of the book is accompanied by a CD-ROM that contains contributions from a wide range of archaeological specialists and includes archaeological data, site maps, database files, plats of excavations, artifact descriptions, and photographs, compiling in one place the entire archaeological record for this very important eastern North American site.
This historical and inspiring coming-of-age novel for young readers explores topics of both historical and contemporary relevance as it follows a harrowing year in the life of its intrepid teenaged narrator.
Lexington, Kentucky, 1833: Calendula “Cal” Farmer, a thirteen-year-old white girl, has been raised by her abolitionist, freethinking mother to reason for herself, consult her inner wisdom, and come to her own conclusions. But when a flash flood devastates her family’s home, Cal is unexpectedly thrust into domestic service in a wealthy family’s mansion. There, she encounters firsthand the physical, intellectual, and emotional brutalities of slavery. Later, a cholera outbreak kills a quarter of the population, including Cal’s mother, and Cal enters an orphanage, where she bravely begins another chapter in her young life.
Cal’s story is sure to captivate readers as she confronts the injustices and uncertainties of racism, class consciousness, epidemic disease, and personal loss with independent thinking, perseverance, and love.
At her death in 1986, Harriette Simpson Arnow left a modest collection of published work: ten short stories, five novels, two non-fiction books, a short autobiography, and nineteen essays and book reviews. Although the sum is small, her writing has been examined from regionalist, Marxist, feminist, and other critical perspectives.
The 1970s saw the first serious attempts to revive interest in Arnow. In 1971, Tillie Olsen identified her as a writer whose "books of great worth suffer the death of being unknown, or at best, a peculiar eclipsing." Joyse Carol Oates wrote in The New York Times Book Review that Arnow's The Dollmaker is "our most unpretentious American masterpiece."
In the 1990s, it is appropriate to take stock of her earlier work and to prompt reexamination of this powerful yet poorly understood writer. This collection of critical essays examines traditional as well as new interpretations of Arnow and her work. It also suggests future directions for Arnow scholarship and includes studies of all of Arnow's writing, fiction and non-fiction, published and unpublished.
Early in this century, growing cities seeking to promote their communities came to view the budding local football team as an agent of civic progress and took the necessary measures to see that their interests were ably represented.
As a result, semiprofessional clubs such as the Ironton Tanks and the Portsmouth Spartans faced off against such legendary teams as the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Towns scrambled to raise subscription dollars to build new stadiums, buy contracts for prospective stars, and finance the many road trips.
Capturing the local color of a region as well as the spirited charm of a sport as it came into its own—before the rules were formalized and the teams so strongly established—Carl Becker documents a rare time in American history when ideals were being formed and broken and the promise for greatness seemed just within reach of all who tried to grasp it.
Home and Away is a unique chronicle, more than just a history of the game of football, it is also an intimate study of how the citizens and organizations that made up these cities worked to put themselves on the map of an ever-shifting American landscape.
Far from the glittering lights of Broadway, in a city known more for its horse racing than its artistic endeavors, an annual festival in Louisville, Kentucky, has transformed the landscape of the American theater. The Actors Theatre of Louisville—the Tony Award–winning state theater of Kentucky—in 1976 successfully created what became the nation's most respected new-play festival, the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
The Humana Festival: The History of New Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville examines the success of the festival and theater’s Pulitzer Prize–winning productions that for decades have reflected new-play trends in regional theaters and on Broadway—the result of the calculated decisions, dogged determination, and good luck of its producing director, Jon Jory.
The volume details how Actors Theatre of Louisville was established, why the Humana Festival became successful in a short time, and how the event’s success has been maintained by the Louisville venue that has drawn theater critics from around the world for more than thirty years.
Author Jeffrey Ullom charts the theater’s early struggles to survive, the battles between troupe leaders, and the desperate measures to secure financial support from the Louisville community. He examines how Jory established and expanded the festival to garner extraordinary local support, attract international attention, and entice preeminent American playwrights to premier their works in the Kentucky city.
In The Humana Festival, Ullom provides a broad view of new-play development within artistic, administrative, and financial contexts. He analyzes the relationship between Broadway and regional theaters, outlining how the Humana Festival has changed the process of new-play development and even Broadway’s approach to discovering new work, and also highlights the struggles facing regional theaters across the country as they strive to balance artistic ingenuity and economic viability.
Offering a rare look at the annual event, The Humana Festival provides the first insider’s view of the extraordinary efforts that produced the nation’s most successful new-play festival.
Michigan State University Press is proud to announce the re-release of Harriette Simpson Arnow's 1949 novel Hunter's Horn, a work that Joyce Carol Oates called "our most unpretentious American masterpiece."
In Hunter's Horn, Arnow has written the quintessential account of Kentucky hill people—the quintessential novel of Southern Appalachian farmers, foxhunters, foxhounds, women, and children. New York Times reviewer Hirschel Brickell declared that Arnow "writes...as effortlessly as a bird sings, and the warmth, beauty, the sadness and the ache of life itself are not even once absent from her pages."
Arnow writes about Kentucky in the way that William Faulkner writes about Mississippi, that Flannery O'Connor writes about Georgia, or that Willa Cather writes about Nebraska—with studied realism, with landscapes and characters that take on mythic proportions, with humor, and with memorable and remarkable attention to details of the human heart that motivate literature.
An epic poem about life in America in the early 20th century, as perceived by a Jewish immigrant.
Kentucky is the first major work in Yiddish literature to present America as its primary theme. The long epic poem paints a rich picture of life in Kentucky just after the Civil War. Written between 1918 and 1922 by Lithuanian-born writer, I. J. Schwartz, it first appeared in the Yiddish journal Zukunft and later, in 1925, was published as a book. Although unknown to English readers until this translation, the book was a primary text for immigrants and potential immigrants in places as remote as Poland and Argentina who received their first impressions of America from its pages. Parts of it were even set to music and sung in choruses around the world.
First published in 1849 and largely unavailable for many years, The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb is among the most remarkable slave narratives. Born on a Kentucky plantation in 1815, Bibb first attempted to escape from bondage at the age of ten. He was recaptured and escaped several more times before he eventually settled in Detroit, Michigan, and joined the antislavery movement as a lecturer.
Bibb’s story is different in many ways from the widely read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. He was owned by a Native American; he is one of the few ex-slave autobiographers who had labored in the Deep South (Louisiana); and he writes about folkways of the slaves, especially how he used conjure to avoid punishment and to win the hearts of women. Most significant, he is unique in exploring the importance of marriage and family to him, recounting his several trips to free his wife and child. This new edition includes an introduction by literary scholar Charles Heglar and a selection of letters and editorials by Bibb.
Rural Appalachians in Kentucky call it "The Kentucky Way"—making a living by doing many kinds of paid and unpaid work and sharing their resources within extended family networks. In fact, these strategies are practiced by rural people in many parts of the world, but they have not been studied extensively in the United States. In The Livelihood of Kin, Rhoda Halperin undertakes a detailed exploration of this complex, family-oriented economy, showing how it promotes economic well-being and a sense of identity for the people who follow it.
Using actual life and work histories, Halperin shows how people make a living "in between" the cash economy of the city and the agricultural subsistence economy of the country. In regionally based, three-generation kin networks, family members work individually and jointly at many tasks: small-scale agricultural production, food processing and storage, odd jobs, selling used and new goods in marketplaces, and wage labor, much of which is temporary. People can make ends meet even in the face of job layoffs and declining crop subsidies. With these strategies people win a considerable degree of autonomy and control over their lives.
Halperin also examines how such multiple livelihood strategies define individual identity by emphasizing a person’s role in the family network over an occupation. She reveals, through psychiatric case histories, what damage can result when individuals leave the family network for wage employment in the cities, as increasing urbanization has forced many people to do.
While certainly of interest to scholars of Appalachian studies, this lively and readable study will also be important for economic anthropologists and urban and rural sociologists.
Because textiles rarely are preserved in the archaeological record outside of deserts and permafrost areas, in many regions of the world very little is known about their characteristics, functions, production technology, or socioeconomic importance. While this fact is also true of organic fabrics produced during the Mississippian period in southeastern North Anerica, a wide variety of Mississippian textiles has been preserved in the form of impressions on large pottery vessels. From attribute analysis of 1,574 fabrics impressed on Wickliffe pottery sherds and comparison of the impressions with extant Mississippian textile artifacts, Drooker presents the first comparative analysis of these materials and the most inclusive available summary of information on Mississippian textiles.
A dynamic figure in the pages of history, Major General William “Bull” Nelson played a formative role in the Union’s success in Kentucky and the Western theater of the Civil War. Now, Donald A. Clark presents a long-overdue examination of this irascible officer, his numerous accomplishments, and his grim fate. More popularly known for his temper than his intrepid endeavors on behalf of the North, Nelson nevertheless dedicated much of his life to his nation and the preservation of the Union.
The child of a privileged family, Nelson was one of the first officers to graduate from the newly formed U.S. Naval Academy. His years in the Navy imbued in him the qualities of bravery, loyalty, and fortitude; however, his term of service also seemed to breed an intolerance of others for which he became infamous, and that ultimately led to his violent downfall. Clark sheds new light upon Nelson’s pre–Civil War years as a naval officer, when he became a hardened veteran of battle, fighting at the siege of Veracruz and the capture of Tabasco during the Mexican War in the 1840s. On the basis of Nelson’s military experience, in 1861 President Lincoln sent him to Kentucky—which was considering secession—and Nelson rallied loyalists and helped the Union prepare to maintain control of the state during the next several years of war.
Nelson went on to prove instrumental in blocking Confederate attempts to subdue Kentucky and the West, serving important roles in the battle of Shiloh, General Henry W. Halleck’s advance against Corinth, and Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell’s movement toward Chattanooga. But while some viewed his bold maneuvers as the saving of the state, many others, including such notables as Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, argued that Nelson’s actions merited no praise. Unfortunately for the general, the question of his value to the Union abruptly became moot, as his achievements were shortly overshadowed by ignominious rumors of scandal and abuse.
His involvement in the defense of Louisville gave Nelson a chance to redeem himself and restore his military reputation, but the general’s famous temper soon robbed him of any potential glory. During September of 1862, in a crime that was never prosecuted, fellow Union general Jefferson C. Davis shot and killed Nelson after an argument. Clark explores this remarkable exception in military law, arguing that while the fact of the murder was indisputable, many considered Davis a hero for having dispatched the so-called tyrant. Although Nelson eventually received many posthumous honors for his indispensable role in the war, justice was never sought for his murder.
A comprehensive study of this well-known, yet misunderstood American figure, The Notorious “Bull” Nelson: Murdered Civil War General is an illuminating addition to the history of the Civil War. Through Clark’s impeccable research and richly layered narrative, William “Bull” Nelson springs from the pages as large and volatile as he was in life.
Ancient human groups in the Eastern Woodlands of North America were long viewed as homogeneous and stable hunter-gatherers, changing little until the late prehistoric period when Mesoamerican influences were thought to have stimulated important economic and social developments. The authors in this volume offer new, contrary evidence to dispute this earlier assumption, and their studies demonstrate the vigor and complexity of prehistoric peoples in the North American Midwest and Midsouth. These peoples gathered at favored places along midcontinental streams to harvest mussels and other wild foods and to inter their dead in the shell mounds that had resulted from their riverside activities. They created a highly successful, pre-maize agricultural system beginning more than 4,000 years ago, established far-flung trade networks, and explored and mined the world's longest cave—the Mammoth Cave System in Kentucky.
Kenneth C. Carstens, Cheryl Ann Munson, Guy Prentice, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Philip J. DiBlasi, Mary C. Kennedy, Jan Marie Hemberger, Gail E. Wagner, Christine K. Hensley, Valerie A. Haskins, Nicholas P. Herrmann, Mary Lucas Powell, Cheryl Claassen, David H. Dye, and Patty Jo Watson
Effie Marquess Carmack (1885-1974) grew up in the tobacco-growing region of southern Kentucky known as the Black Patch. As an adult she moved to Utah, back to Kentucky, to Arizona, and finally to California. Economic necessity primarily motivated Effie and her husband's moves, but her conversion to the Mormon Church in youth also was a factor. Throughout her life, she was committed to preserving the rural, southern folkways she had experienced as a child. She and other members of her family were folk musicians, at times professionally, and she also became a folk poet and artist, teaching herself to paint. In the 1940s she began writing her autobiography and eventually also completed a verse adaptation of it and an unpublished novel about life in the Black Patch.
Much of Effie's story is a charming memoir of her vibrant childhood on a poor tobacco farm. She describes a wide variety of folk practices, from healing and crafts to children's games. Her family's life included the backbreaking labor and economic trials of raising tobacco, but it was enriched by a deep familial heritage, communal music, creative play, and traditional activities of many kinds. After the family converted to the Mormon Church, religious study and devotion became another important dimension. Effie's account of Mormon missions contributes to the little-known record of Latter-day Saint attempts to establish a presence in the South.
After marrying, the Carmacks moved west, eventually landing in the Arizona desert, where Effie took up painting in earnest. Her art began to attract modest attention, which brought exhibits, awards, and a new career teaching others what she had taught herself. After the Carmacks later retired to Atascadero, California, Effie became a more active and public folk singer as well.
A coming-of-age story of hope, betrayal, and familial legacy set in rural Appalachia.
Set in the run-up and aftermath of the 2016 election, Pop brings the Canard County trilogy to a close as Dawn, the young narrator of Gipe’s first novel, Trampoline, is now the mother of the seventeen-year-old Nicolette. Whereas Dawn has become increasingly agoraphobic as the internet persuades her the world is descending into chaos, Nicolette narrates an Appalachia where young people start businesses rooted in local food culture and work to build community. But Nicolette’s precocious rise in the regional culinary scene is interrupted when her policeman cousin violently assaults her, setting in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy the family—and Canard County in the process.
In the tradition of Gipe’s first two novels, Pop’s Appalachia is full of clear-eyed, caring, creative, and complicated people struggling to hang on to what is best about their world and reject what is not. Their adventures reflect an Appalachia that is overrun by outside commentators looking for stories to tell about the region—sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but almost always oversimplified.
For two and a half years, Katherine J. Black crisscrossed Kentucky, interviewing home vegetable gardeners from a rich variety of backgrounds. Row by Row: Talking with Kentucky Gardeners is the result, a powerful compilation of testimonies on the connections between land, people, culture, and home.
The people profiled here share a Kentucky backdrop, but their life stories, as well as their gardens, have as many colors, shapes, and tastes as heirloom tomatoes do. Black interviewed those who grow in city backyards, who carve out gardens from farmland, and who have sprawling plots in creek bottoms and former pastures. Many of the gardeners in Row by Row speak eloquently about our industrialized food system’s injuries to the land, water, and health of people. But more often they talk about what they are doing in their gardens to reverse this course.
Row by Row is as sure to appeal to historians, food studies scholars, and sustainability advocates as it is to gardeners and local food enthusiasts. These eloquent portraits, drawn from oral histories and supplemented by Deirdre Scaggs’ color photographs, form a meditation on how gardeners make sense of their lives through what they grow and how they grow it.
This richly illustrated book is the eighth of nine Classics in Southeastern Archaeology volumes based on Moore's investigations along the waterways of eastern North America.
This oversized reprint volume presents original materials from Moore's northernmost expeditions conducted in the early 1900s as he surveyed areas of potential archaeological interest in the southeastern United States. Some of the sites he found were later targeted for major excavations during the days of the WPA/CCC. Many National Register Historic Sites are today located along the rivers he explored in this work. In many cases, however, Moore's report documents sites since destroyed by river action or by lake impoundments behind hydroelectric dams or by looters.
As with all of Moore's other investigations, his thorough documentation and collaboration with other scholars advanced understanding of aboriginal peoples and fueled debate among the experts. For instance, more than 296 burials were recovered from Indian Knoll on the Green River in Kentucky. Some graves included ceremonially "killed" artifacts, dogs buried with both adults and children, and exotic materials leading to speculations concerning origins, usage, and trade networks. Stone box graves were widespread and somewhat exclusive to this area, giving rise to early assumptions regarding kinship between scattered modern Indian tribes.
Richard Polhemus has compiled a comprehensive inventory of Moore's work in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky and written a concise introduction to place the work in context. In so doing, he has made available to contemporary scholars of history, archaeology, and anthropology a trove of resource material on one of the most archaeologically rich and artifact-diverse regions in the nation.
“Benjamin Franklin Cooling has produced a triumphant third volume to his definitive study of Tennessee and Kentucky in the Civil War. Like his first two volumes, this one perfectly integrates the home front and battlefield, demonstrating that civilians were continually embroiled in the war in intense ways comparable to and often surpassing the violence experienced by soldiers on the battlefield. The impacts of armies, guerrillas, and other military forces on civilians was continual, terrifying, and brutal in nearly all parts of the Confederacy’s Heartland.” —T. Michael Parrish, Linden G. Bowers Professor of American History, Baylor University
“Cooling’s scholarship is indeed sound and based on extensive research in a variety of original sources that range from manuscript collections to newspapers, with an exhaustive list of secondary sources. His work represents the first new interpretations of this important part of the war in decades.” —Archie P. McDonald, Regent’s Professor and Community Liaison, Stephen F. Austin State University
In two preceding volumes, Forts Henry and Donelson and Fort Donelson’s Legacy, Benjamin Franklin Cooling offered a sweeping portrayal of war and society in the upper southern heartland of Kentucky and Tennessee during the first two and a half years of the Civil War. This book continues that saga as Cooling probes the profound turmoil—on the battlefield, on the home front, within the shadow areas where lawlessness reigned—that defined the war in the region as it ground to its close.
By 1864 neither the Union’s survival nor the South’s independence was any more apparent than at the beginning of the war. The grand strategies of both sides were still evolving, and Tennessee and Kentucky were often at the cusp of that work. With his customary command of myriad sources, Cooling examines the heartland conflict in all its aspects: the Confederate cavalry raids and Union counteroffensives; the harsh and punitive Reconstruction policies that were met with banditry and brutal guerrilla actions; the disparate political, economic, and sociocultural upheavals; the ever-growing war weariness of the divided populations; and the climactic battles of Franklin and Nashville that ended the Confederacy’s hopes in the Western Theater. Especially notable in this volume is Cooling’s use of the latest concepts of “hybrid” or “compound war” that national security experts have applied to the twenty-first-century wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—a mode of analysis that explores how catastrophic terrorism and disruptive lawlessness mix with traditional combat and irregular operations to form a new kind of warfare. Not only are such concepts relevant to the historical study of the Civil War in the heartland, Cooling suggests, but by the same token, their illumination of historical events can only enrich the ways in which policymakers view present-day conflicts.
In chronicling Tennessee and Kentucky’s final rite of passage from war to peace, To the Battles of Franklin and Nashville and Beyond is in every way a major contribution to Civil War literature by a masterful historian.
Dawn Jewell is fifteen. She is restless, curious, and wry. She listens to Black Flag, speaks her mind, and joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining almost in spite of herself. “I write by ear,” says Robert Gipe, and Dawn’s voice is the essence of his debut novel, Trampoline. She lives in eastern Kentucky with her addict mother and her Mamaw, whose stance against the coal companies has earned her the community’s ire. Jagged and honest, Trampoline is a powerful portrait of a place struggling with the economic and social forces that threaten and define it. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings, it is above all about its heroine, Dawn, as she decides whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or ruled by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life.
Finalist, 2019 Weatherford Award (Fiction)
A finalist for the 2019 Weatherford Award in Fiction, Weedeater is a contemporary story of love and loss told by a pair of eastern Kentucky mountaineers: Gene, the lovelorn landscaper who bears witness to the misadventures of a family entangled in drugs, artmaking, and politics, a family beset by both environmental and self-destruction; and Dawn Jewell, a young mother searching—for lost family members, lost youth, lost community, and lost heart.
Picking up six years after the end of Robert Gipe’s acclaimed first novel, Trampoline, in Weedeater, the reader finds Canard County living through the last hurrah of the coal industry and the most turbulent and deadly phase of the community’s battle with opioid abuse. The events Gipe chronicles are frantic. They are told through a voice by turns taciturn and angry, yet also balanced with humor and stoic grace. Weedeater is a story about how we put our lives back together when we lose the things we thought we couldn’t bear losing, how we find new purpose in what we thought were scraps and trash caught in the weeds.
Even some enlightened academicians automatically—and incorrectly—connect illiteracy to Appalachia, contends Katherine Kelleher Sohn. After overhearing two education professionals refer to the southern accent of a waiter and then launch into a few redneck jokes, Sohn wondered why rural, working-class white people are not considered part of the multicultural community. Whistlin’ and Crowin’ Women of Appalachia: Literacy Practices since College examines the power of women to rise above cultural constraints, complete their college degrees, assume positions of responsibility, and ultimately come to voice.
Sohn, a born southerner and assimilated Appalachian who moved from the city more than thirty years ago, argues that an underclass of rural whites is being left out of multicultural conversations. She shares how her own search for identity in the academic world (after enrolling in a doctoral program at age fifty) parallels the journeys of eight nontraditional, working-class women. Through interviews and case studies, Sohn illustrates how academic literacy empowers women in their homes, jobs, and communities, effectively disproving the Appalachian adage: “Whistlin’ women and crowin’ hens, always come to no good ends.”
Sohn situates the women’s stories within the context of theory, self confidence, and place. She weaves the women’s words with her own, relating voice to language, identity, and power. As the women move from silence to voice throughout and after college—by maintaining their dialect, discovering the power of expressivist writing, gaining economic and social power, and remaining in their communities—they discover their identity as strong women of Appalachia.
Sohn focuses on the power of place, which figures predominantly in the identity of these women, and colorfully describes the region. These Appalachian women who move from silence to voice are the purveyors of literacy and the keepers of community, says Sohn. Serving as the foundation of Appalachian culture in spite of a patriarchal society, the women shape the region even as it shapes them.
Geared to scholars of literacy studies, women’s studies, and regional studies, Whistlin’ and Crowin’ Women of Appalachia will also resonate with those working with other marginalized populations who are isolated economically, geographically, or culturally.
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