Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South

Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South

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Among the most pervasive of stereotypes imposed upon southern highlanders is that they were white, opposed slavery, and supported the Union before and during the Civil War, but the historical record suggests far different realities. John C. Inscoe has spent much of his scholarly career exploring the social, economic and political significance of slavery and slaveholding in the mountain South and the complex nature of the regiona€™s wartime loyalties, and the brutal guerrilla warfare and home front traumas that stemmed from those divisions. The essays here embrace both facts and fictions related to those issues, often conveyed through intimate vignettes that focus on individuals, families, and communities, keeping the human dimension at the forefront of his insights and analysis. Drawing on the memories, memoirs, and other testimony of slaves and free blacks, slaveholders and abolitionists, guerrilla warriors, invading armies, and the highland civilians they encountered, Inscoe considers this multiplicity of perspectives and what is revealed about highlandersa€™ dual and overlapping identities as both a part of, and distinct from, the South as a whole. He devotes attention to how the truths derived from these contemporary voices were exploited, distorted, reshaped, reinforced, or ignored by later generations of novelists, journalists, filmmakers, dramatists, and even historians with differing agendas over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His cast of characters includes John Henry, Frederick Law Olmsted and John Brown, Andrew Johnson and Zebulon Vance, and those who later interpreted their storiesa€”John Fox and John Ehle, Thomas Wolfe and Charles Frazier, Emma Bell Miles and Harry Caudill, Carter Woodson and W. J. Cash, Horace Kephart and John C. Campbell, even William Faulkner and Flannery Oa€™Connor. Their work and that of many others have contributed much to either our understandinga€”or misunderstandinga€”of nineteenth century Appalachia and its place in the American imagination.Nor will I try to name the numerous UGA students in other fieldsa€”from anthropology and religion to English and landscape designa€”whose work is set in Appalachia, and on whose ... Much of the best and most cutting-edge scholarship on the region has appeared in essay collections, most of which still provide invaluable samplers of different approaches and perspectives to similar topics and issues.

Title:Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South
Author: John Inscoe
Publisher:University Press of Kentucky - 2010-09-12

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