Appalachia: A History
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Appalachia: A History

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this comprehensive history of the Appalachian region, Williams weaves social, political, environmental, economic, and popular history together to present a readable narrative that spans four and a half centuries.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 29th 2002 by University of North Carolina Press
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Kate Lawrence
Although basically a textbook, this presented enough interesting facts and accounts of colorful local personalities to keep me reading to the end. I find Appalachia to be fascinating for its actual, as well as mythical, history and culture. For many generations, the region has grappled with basic survival issues along with environmental and labor exploitation; its residents have been admired as self-sufficient small farmers and ridiculed as hillbillies. The poignant out-migration and involuntary...more
Art
Appalachia: A History

An expansive work that contains many insightful views into one of the most studied, but misunderstood American regions. While the book is titled "A history", it is as much a history of "how" Appalachia is studied as it is a straight history of the area.

The author's central theory is that Appalachia was, and is, an internal colony of the United States, with its natural resources of coal and timber shipped out, and almost all finished goods shipped in. Few of the factories a...more
Amy
Okay it took FOREVER to finish due to the whole...being distracted by an infant..but it was very interesting and overall an easy read. John Williams was one of my history professors at Appalachian State and I didn't make the connection of that same John Williams being the author until after I started reading the book. I particularly enjoyed it because of my family history research. If you have ancestors who were living in Appalachia (or who still do) it's a great insight to the culture and histo...more
Tim
There is a lot here. This is more of an academic-style piece (think textbook) than a popular history. There is a lot here about the history of the region, but you have to come to it with quite a bit of knowledge as well.
There is a crying need for maps in this book (many of the illustrations that are included seemed to be especially odd choices) especially for those of us who do not live in the region, but wish to learn more about the conditions for ancestors who did.
Jason
My family is an Appalachian family, especially on my Dad's side (mostly eastern Kentucky folks), with some Ohioans from my Mom's. Therefore this book was very interesting in seeing how European-Americans settled into this area, and how Appalachia developed into what it is today. A well-written book that I'd recommend if you have interest in Appalachia or if you're interested from a geneological perspective.
Carolyn Hembree
I dug this history. It's thoughtful and never condescending to the people of the region. My favorite aspects of this particular book -- the narratives about female settlers in the area, Over Mountain Men, bushwhackers, and the Cherokee. He does a great job of distinguishing different states and cultures in the region. Also some very good maps here to show shifts in boundaries of Appalachia.
Gnewton33
Interesting (although somewhat dry) read. Good coverage of the movement into the 'region' from the north and coastal areas. Much said on the (continuing) impact of the extractive industries. Was prompted to read after finishing "Night Comes to the Cumberlands" by Harry Caudill (another worthwhile read).
Cliff
A scholarly work on the history of the Appalachian region. Well-researched, could be considered a bit dry by those not already interested in the topic. Important book.
Ian Zimmerman
This book does a good job of summarizing the history, culture, and people of an often ignored region. This is worth reading if you have ever have the time.
Diego
Makes one wonder what the mountain communities would be like today if the "civilized" northeast would've left them alone.
April
A fabulous writer of history. His love for the region and its people comes through on every page.
Sarah
A bit of a dry read, but this book is very informative on the history of the Appalachians.
Elizabeth Bradley
dry but necessary... a few interesting stories here. Certainly doesn't romanticize or stereotype!
Doti
Sep 12, 2012 Doti marked it as to-read
Shelves: postponed
Definitely a history text, but appealing to me because people and places seem familiar.
John Paul
Scattered at times, and I argue with his definitions of Appalachia, but not bad.
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“In preindustrial times, according to one study, inequality in landed property was greater in the Appalachian backcountry than anywhere else in America,” 0 likes
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