Modernizing Mountaineer

People, Power, Planning Appalachia

  • Author(s): Whisnant, David E.
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 1994-04-14
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now

Modernizing the Mountaineer is required reading for anyone studying the evolution of Appalachia and its place in American history since the Civil War. Whisnant’s use of the politics of culture as an interpretive tool is brilliant.”—H. Tyler Blethen, Western Carolina University

Since its initial publication a decade ago, Modernizing the Mountaineer has become a classic in Appalachian studies. Now available with a substantial new introduction, the book is a passionate and provocative critique of the enterprises and organizations that have sought to develop the region.

David Whisnant focuses upon public and private social and economic development efforts in Appalachia from the close of the nineteenth century through the early 1970s. He explores their diverse origins, their many ways of assessing and relating to the problems and people of the region, and above all the cultural politics that shaped them. Modernizing the Mountaineer blends careful analysis with an ardent commitment to making the needs of the region’s people the preeminent consideration in the design of social policy.

In his new introduction, Whisnant chronicles the book’s controversial history, discusses the factors that contributed to its perspective, and surveys the advances in Appalachian studies that have occurred since it was first written.

The Author: David E. Whisnant is professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he also teaches in American studies, Latin American studies, and folklore. He is the author of All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region.