- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (April 29, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807853682
- ISBN-13: 978-0807853689
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Appalachia: A History New edition Edition
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By analyzing carefully the complex dialectic of myths surrounding Appalachia, Williams does an especially fine job in evoking a sense of place. (Durwood Dunn, Tennessee Wesleyan College)
He or she who cares deeply about this region needs this book. ("Blue Ridge Country")
An outstanding interpretation of Appalachian history. Williams's explanations on many topics are the best presently available from any publication. (Gordon B. McKinney, Berea College)
This volume is the most comprehensive history of the Appalachian region written to date. It will certainly stand as an invaluable resource for both students and future historians of Appalachia.--Our State
A vivid and perceptive portrait of the region. [Williams's] seminal account not only provides an exceptionally readable and accurate text for the classroom, but it marks a new level of achievement and synthesis in Appalachian Studies. . . . Combines the narrative storytelling of good history with personal observations of someone who knows the region and its people. . . . An eloquent statement of how far we have come, Appalachia: A History provides a new platform upon which the next generation of Appalachian historians will begin their work. . . . Williams knows Appalachia and Appalachian scholarship. This book is a fine tribute to his commitment and skill; it should stand for years as the standard introduction to Appalachian history.--Appalachian Journal
This comprehensive study of the Appalachian past is based on the latest scholarship and original sources. This volume is much more than a textbook; it is an outstanding interpretation of Appalachian history. Williams's explanations on many topics are the best presently available from any publication.--Gordon B. McKinney, Berea College
Williams has done what long needed doing. He has penned a readable, thoughtful, and comprehensive history of Appalachia. . . . Williams's study makes clear that Appalachia is a collection of very different places, with a population that is anything but homogeneous. . . . Well written and demonstrates a mastery of the available research on Appalachia. . . . [A] sterling achievement. This book is a milestone and will shape the debates in Appalachian history for years to come.--North Carolina Historical Review
Williams has written about Appalachia as place rather than problem and tells us what went on there. He does so, moreover, with grace and wit, in a book that is at once charming and helpful. As a contribution to the historiography of America, it is delicious. As a contribution to the historiography of Appalachia, it is essential. . . . A magisterial achievement, and welcome.--Journal of American History
By analyzing carefully the complex dialectic of myths surrounding Appalachia, Williams does an especially fine job in evoking a sense of place. This quality is critical to understanding how the people of Appalachia define themselves, and no study can successfully describe the region's history without unraveling these myriad, often contradictory, layers of self-perception. Williams does so with both style and a trenchant sense of irony.--Durwood Dunn, Tennessee Wesleyan College
It is a book that should be studied and savored by every Appalachian resident who cares at all about his or her homeland, and it will stand as a touchstone for studies of the region for many years to come.--Journal of Southern History
Williams's new volume will appeal both to scholars and to a broader public long befuddled by repetitions of the tiredest of myths about the southern mountains. . . . Williams has written a book that can (and should) stand as the definitive one-volume history of Appalachia for some time to come. It is a welcome and valuable addition to the steadily growing body of new work on a long misunderstood region.--American Historical Review
In Appalachia: A History, one of the field's most accomplished historians takes on a monumental task and does so with sincerity, wit, and a keen sense of place.--Journal of Appalachian Studies
A definitive, fascinating, extremely well written, comprehensive history of our region.--Appalachian Heritage
This book gives the best overall view of the history, geography, economics and sensibilities of Appalachia.--Black Issues Book Review
He or she who cares deeply about this region needs this book.--Blue Ridge Country
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Top customer reviews
Williams addresses and illuminates errors of the stereotyping we have inflicted upon Appalachia since colonial times and shows clearly that some of those labels would have been more accurately applied in some surprising places outside "the mountains". He also illustrates that there is no real ONE "Appalachia" but that in the area generally broadbrushed as "Appalachia" there are myriad differences of terrain, culture, demographics, religious focus and social strata and functions.
This truly is an enjoyable and enlightening book. But, in the end, an alert reader will come away from "Appalachia: A History" with the realization that many of the things that were wrong in the history of "Appalachia" were, and ARE, very wrong in many areas of our country today, especially in our areas with farming/ranching economies.
a. because I found what he was writing about so interesting that I kept going back to the footnotes to see where his information came from, and
b. because so much of what he writes about I know to be true from my own experience, my own reading or from the experiences of friends and family.
It just rings true to me.
I don't know if every person who grows up in Appalachia thinks about what it means to be Appalachian, but as soon as he or she leaves the mountains (in my case I only had to go to college in Lexington, VA), it's going to mean something to everybody else. Particularly if that person is from West Virginia, where just saying what state you're from betrays your hillbilly status.
I spent the first 20 years of my life being ashamed of being from West Virginia and trying to leave it. I spent the next 20 years not only making peace with it, but coming to love it.
Througout Williams' history, he questions the notion of Appalachian "otherness," and the reader may think him agnostic on the subject, or perhaps a holder of the belief that its otherness never existed. But by the end of the book, it appears he fears for its survival as an "other" -- surely a view we share.
Very glad I bought it.
Appalachia is both loved and loathed by its natives. It's both ridiculed and celebrated by curious outsiders. Internally, it's a complex juxtaposition of deeply reactionary and progressive movements. Externally, it's the target of exploitation and preservation.
This book is a penetrating sociological history committed to capturing all the contradictory elements in the region in about 400 pages and, well, it works. Part narrative history, and part statistical analysis, I'm impressed by the book's ability to bring continuity and definition to a region shrouded in debate. As the author claims, there's a nice blend of social, political, economic, and cultural history.
Organization is chronological, from native Americans to the late 20th century. Maps and illustrations are relatively few and really don't do much to enhance the text.