new book: social justice movements in Appalachia

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Tue Dec 6 22:11:37 CST 2005


From:
CB Stille <cbstille at yahoo.com>


NEW BOOK forthcoming on social justice movements in
Appalachia...

"Jeff Biggers’s inspiring book should be a best seller
immediately. It is a ‘how-to’ book—-how to assert your
fundamental rights and how to speak out in the manner
of the American Revolution footsloggers, whose
descendants they are. Read it and your faltering hopes
will rise.”
--STUDS TERKEL

The United States of Appalachia:
How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence,
Culture and Enlightenment to America.
Jeff Biggers
Shoemaker and Hoard

Now available on Amazon, local bookstores.

“The shameless caricatures—-‘hillbilly’ and
‘redneck’-—have in popular thought defined the people
of Appalachia, in the mountains of the Cumberlands. If
ever there were a folk most enlightened in the world
of haves and have-nots, exercising their first
amendment rights with more guts than our ‘respectable
media,’ it is the heroic survivors in the hills and
hollows. Among those that have long gone were Joe and
Gaynell Begley, who ran a general store in a Kentucky
ghost town made so by strip miners and corporate
lawyers, and Myles Horton, one of our great educators,
whose Highlander Folk School in Tennessee taught
students, black and white, among whom were Martin
Luther King and Rosa Parks. They learned at Highlander
where the body was buried and who was doing what to
whom. There have been so many others, including Nina
Simone, the black singer, and Florence Reece, a
miner’s daughter who wrote, ‘Which Side Are You On?’
Jeff Biggers’s inspiring book should be a best seller
immediately. It is a ‘how-to’ book—-how to assert your
fundamental rights and how to speak out in the manner
of the American Revolution footsloggers, whose
descendants they are. Read it and your faltering hopes
will rise.” --Studs Terkel

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

APPALACHIA NEEDS NO DEFENSE.
IT NEEDS MORE DEFENDERS.

Beyond its mythology in the American imagination,
Appalachia has long been a vanguard region in the
United States-—a cradle of U.S. freedom and
independence, and a hotbed for literature and music.
Some of the most quintessential and daring American
innovations, rebellions, and social movements have
emerged from an area often stereotyped as a quaint
backwater. In the process, immigrants from the
Appalachian diaspora have also emerged as some of our
nation's most famous leaders. Did you know:

<sum> Appalachians formed the first District of
Washington as a defiant outpost outside of British
control

<sum> Southern mountain insurgents orchestrated their
own attacks on British-led troops, turning the tide of
the American Revolution in the South

<sum> From an Appalachian hamlet in North Carolina
came Nina Simone, who went on to become an
international diva with her blend of folk, jazz,
gospel, country, and Bach-motif riffs

<sum> Adolph Ochs, a young publisher from Chattanooga,
took over the New York Times and set its course for
world acclaim

<sum> Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers in
Detroit, one of the 20th century's most important
labor leaders, drew from a long-time activist family
in West Virginia

<sum> The first antislavery newspaper in America was
founded in Tennessee, and Appalachians trained New
England's legendary abolitionist William Lloyd
Garrison

<sum> Pearl S. Buck, the first American woman to be
awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, was recognized
for her memoirs of West Virginia as much as for her
literary contributions to the Far East

<sum> Appalachia produced America's first woman
muckraker Anne Royall, pioneering social realism
author Rebecca Harding Davis, and literary innovators
Martin Delany, Willa Cather, Thomas Wolfe, James
Still, Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, among many
others.

<sum> Sequoyah, a Cherokee mountaineer, invented the
first syllabary in modern times

<sum> Blues icons, Bessie Smith and WC Handy, emerged
from Appalachia's rich African American musical
traditions

<sum> Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School in
Tennessee galvanized the shock troops of the Civil
Rights Movement and returned "We Shall Overcome" as
its anthem

Few regions in the United States confound and
fascinate Americans like Appalachia, and yet no other
region has been so misrepresented by the mass media.
With humor, intelligence, and clarity, Jeff Biggers
shows how a remarkable procession of innovators from
the hills of Appalachia have defined and shaped
America.

“Jeff Biggers opens a new window on the complex
history of the region called Appalachia. He takes a
hard but affectionate look at both the myths and the
facts, and what he finds is by turns sobering and
thrilling. Drawing on the contradictions, layers, and
range of what is known as mountain culture, he shows
that nothing is quite what it seems, and that to
understand
American history it is essential to know Appalachian
history. Biggers tells his story with verve and vivid
detail, a story that will at once provoke and
inspire.” -- Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek









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