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A History of Kentucky Hardcover – August, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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$24.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 531 pages
  • Publisher: Jesse Stuart Foundation; Edition Unstated edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945084307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945084303
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 5.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Although this book was published more than 60 years ago -- and has been updated several times since then -- it is THE PLACE to begin if you are curious about Kentucky's fascinating -- and often tragic -- history. Although "A New History of Kentucky" is more current and is quite good, Clark's book is essential for understanding the Bluegrass State and how it has evolved. Clark's book also gives you a deeper appreciation of "A New History" and helps you understand some of the finer points of that book as well. Clark is a first-rate historian, but he also is a wonderful story-teller as well. He weaves a compelling story about Kentucky as a place full of optimism, corruption, idealism and missed opportunity. He captures some of the commonwealth's more colorful figures without deifying anyone or losing focus. Trying to understand Kentucky without reading Clark is not unlike trying to comprehend Rome without reading Gibbon or England without reading Churchill.
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I agree with the previous reviewer. This is a great starting point for someone interested in Kentucky history and definitely a "read before" reading "A New Kentucky History". It lays the foundation concerning the earliest portions of Kentucky history and really helped me understand the beginnings of my adopted home state. I would not have enjoyed A New Kentucky History nearly as much had I not read this book first. Well written and engrossing, a definite must have for anyone interested in the Bluegrass State. Yes, I know it's really a Commonwealth :)
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I grew up in Kentucky but now live in California. Dr. Clark was my history professor at the University of Kentucky in the 1960s. He was one of the most interesting teachers I encountered. This book was the textbook but he supplemented it with his engrossing lectures. He also made attendance in his class an absolute prerequisite for obtaining a passing grade. We had to write a paper in order to complete the course and I did a massive history of the Louisville, KY Courier-Journal that found me in the library microfilm department reading newspapers from the late 1700s. Kentucky has a rich and much misunderstood history and being a "border state" there was a ratio of 2-1 in favor of the North regarding men fighting in the Civil War. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to further research the state's history. Dr. Clark lived to be at least 100 years old and toward the end of his life, our Alumni Association magazine did a long feature article on him.
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I knew this book was dated when I ordered it so I got what I expected. I purchased it specifically for the purpose of understanding some of the perceptions of Kentucky (and Kentuckians) during the time it was written. I had hoped for more information on the pre-settlement history so was a bit disappointed on that front. I'm still searching for something told by the perspectives of American Indians about pre-settlement/pre-"frontier" times...if you have suggestions, please share. The Clark book was fine for what it was intended to do, but don't expect to get an "honest" and "unbiased" report from reading it. It largely deals with the political aspects of Kentucky's formation as a state. For a history pre-dating that, you'll need to keep searching.
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I read it like a story book and refer to it frequently as a reference. My husband's people are from VA to SE KY. It is a rich heritage and much of the information in the book is helpful in genealogical search.
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