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The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
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The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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 Ann
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Counterpoint (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Jonathan
I had read some of Bigger's writing on coal and so expected this book to be at least sympathetic movements for Appalachian Justice. However, I assumed that Biggers would invoke one Appalachian stereotype or another to defend Appalachia.

Instead I was excited to find that right off the bat he outlined four popular misrepresentations of Appalachia: Wilderness, Backwater home to peculiar people, a preserved specimen of Scotch-Irish cultural purity/rugged pioneer independence, and poster child for p
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Keith
Fascinating read. Full of little-known information about, and contributions by, those from Appalachia from the early development of the USA to modern day, in the areas of social reform/rebellion, the arts, politics, the Press, industry, etc. Dozens and dozens of native Appalachians at the forefront of American history, and how many Americans know about them? I would have preferred, like others have said below, a bit more about West Virginian contributions (he does mention a few, e.g. Pearl Buck) ...more
Marjorie
I liked this book but was disappointed that he barely mentioned WV, instead focusing on tennessee, the carolinas, and even illinois and pennsylvania if you can believe that. as if any other state could be more appalachian than west by god.
Ray Zimmerman
Jeff tells a great story in this book. He draws on numerous sources and personal experiences exploring Appalachia. His book relates the story of Appalachian people, the lives and struggles, and the outside forces which impact their fortunes.
April
Some of the facts were wrong. If Biggers was truly a student of Appalachia history, he would not have confused Charles Town, WV with Charleston, WV. He also would have touched on & mention more of West Virginia's history. After all, West Virginia is the only state that is truly & purely Appalachian. Next time Biggers does write a book, he better check himself & his facts.
Mandy
Jul 16, 2012 Mandy added it
I gave up on it. From an academic perspective, it leave something to be desired, such as footnotes. There are other books that argue, much more convincingly, of the uniqueness and character of the Appalachian region.
Mark Klinepeter
Written in a pro- Appalachian point of view, this book gives new insight into who the Appalachians are. I would recommend this book, especially to the people of this book, Appalacians.
Alexander
Meh. No coherent argument or narrative to speak of here; worthwhile only in the sense that you'll learn a few interesting facts.
Elizabeth Sulzby
I have review notes on Facebook which I need to retrieve and insert here.
Lillian
Aug 27, 2007 Lillian marked it as to-read
Heard about this on NPR
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