Appalachia holds a curious place in the American psyche. There is a pervasive perception of the region as a hinterland inhabited by a backward and developmentally stunted people. Economically, culturally, and technologically suspended in an era gone by, this Appalachia is regarded as one of America’s enduring social and economic problems.
But, there is another perception of Appalachia – home to the beautiful mountain system for which the region is named. It is a quaint retreat into the past, reflecting the integrity of a people with a pioneering spirit and a lifestyle that pays homage to a simpler time.
Until now, there has been no general reference work that captures the complexities of this enigmatic region. The only guide of its kind, the Encyclopedia of Appalachia is replete with information on every aspect of Appalachia’s history, land, culture, and people.
Containing more than 2,000 entries in 30 sections, the Encyclopedia is designed for quick reference and access to the information you need to know. Teachers, students, scholars, historians, and browsers with a passing interest in this beautiful and richly distinct region will quickly come to rely on the Encyclopedia of Appalachia as the authoritative resource on Appalachia’s past and present.
The Encyclopedia details subjects traditionally associated with Appalachia – folklore, handcrafts, mountain music, food, and coal mining – but goes far beyond regional stereotypes to treat such wide-ranging topics as the aerospace industry, Native American foodways, ethnic diversity in the coalfields, education reform, linguistic variation, and the contested notion of what it means to be Appalachian, both inside and outside of the region.
Researched and developed by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, this 1,864 page compendium includes all thirteen states that constitute the northern, central, and southern regions of Appalachia – from New York to Mississippi. With thorough, detailed, yet accessible entries on everything from Adventists to zinc mining, the Encyclopedia of Appalachia is a guide to all things Appalachian.
About the Editors
Journalist and author Rudy Abramson was a Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times for more than twenty-five years, during which time he served as national science correspondent, Pentagon correspondent, and White House correspondent. His major assignments included the U.S. space program, arms control policy, national political campaigns, the Watergate investigation, and environmental issues.
Abramson is the author of Spanning the Century: The Life of W. Averell Harriman and Hallowed Ground: Preserving America’s Heritage. He has written for Smithsonian Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Astronautics and Aeronautics Magazine, Encyclopedia Brittanica, the New York Times Book Review, and Appalachia.
A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Abramson attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as a Sloan-Rockefeller Fellow in Advanced Science Writing. He has also received a Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. He is a native of Florence, Alabama.
Jean Haskell retired as director and professor in the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University. She is author of The Appalachian Photographs of Earl Palmer and co-editor of Performance, Culture, and Identity.
Haskell has served as John D. Whisman Scholar with the Appalachian Regional Commission; as visiting scholar with the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh; as cultural resource advisor to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; on the board of directors of the Appalachian Consortium, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance; as past president of the Appalachian Studies Association; and as curator of the Appalachian program for the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Haskell holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently resides in Portsmouth, Virginia, where she is vice-president of Commodore Associates, Inc., owners and operators of the historic Commodore Theater.