Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Mountain People in a Flat Land

Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Mountain People in a Flat Land

Article excerpt

Mountain People in a Flat Land. Carl E. Feather. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998.

Regionalism is alive and well in this age of virtual-everything and technopoly. That is the main point of Feather's interesting study. He goes further: the region we love may not be the region we live in-but the one we left behind. He has written a popular history of Appalachian migration to northeast Ohio, 1940-65. Son of parents who migrated from West Virginia, Feather dedicates his book to them-in appreciation for all the sacrifice they made in building that life in the flat land.

He does it via case studies-the Ross Boggs family, Novel Forinash, Haywood Ball, Darald Spangler, Daniel Gillespie. They all ring true, and show just what the transition meant. A map and a dozen fine photographs add to the authenticity. My favorite (p. 224) shows a bearded Ken Lewis checking his oil before a trip back to Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Good luck, Ken!

The move took a toll. The highlander's journey took them across a cultural divide almost as great as that encountered by immigrants from Europe or Asia. …

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