Few places in the United States confound and fascinate Americans like Appalachia, yet no other area has been so markedly mischaracterized by the mass media. Stereotypes of hillbillies and rednecks repeatedly appear in representations of the region, but few, if any, of its many heroes, visionaries, or innovators are ever referenced.Make no mistake, they are legion: from Anne Royall, America’s first female muckraker, to Sequoyah, a Cherokee mountaineer who invented the first syllabary in modern times, and international divas Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, as well as writers Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, and Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck, Appalachia has contributed mightily to American culture — and politics. Not only did eastern Tennessee boast the country’s first antislavery newspaper, Appalachians also established the first District of Washington as a bold counterpoint to British rule. With humor, intelligence, and clarity, Jeff Biggers reminds us how Appalachians have defined and shaped the United States we know today.
The United States of Appalachia
How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
List Price: $17.95
JEFF BIGGERS is an award-winning historian, journalist, and playwright. He is the author of several books, including The United States of Appalachia, State Out of the Union, and Reckoning at Eagle Creek, winner of the Delta Prize for Literature and David Brower Award for environmental reporting. His last book, The Trials of a Scold, was long-listed for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. He is the founder of the Climate Narrative Project, an arts and advocacy initiative for schools and communities.