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Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War's Aftermath (review)

Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War's Aftermath (review) communications. His publications include Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010). Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War’s Aftermath. Edited by Andrew L. Slap. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Pp. 379. Cloth, $40.00.) If this edited volume has a recurring theme, it is that the historical period most crucial to the fate of Appalachia is also the one most neglected by historians. The book’s thirteen essays, covering 1865–1910, showcase the work of young historians alongside that of seasoned veterans. They eff ectively make the case for placing the era of Reconstruction at the cen- ter of historical analysis of Appalachia. As editor Andrew Slap correctly notes in the fi rst chapter, there are two major historical explanations for the region’s persistent poverty and underdevelopment. The fi rst points to particularly exploitive patterns of industrialization from 1880 to 1920 as the major culprit, while a second argument locates the seeds of impov- erishment in the antebellum era. Moreover, as Gordon McKinney points out in his fi ne introduction, previous studies of both eras have failed to off er consistent fi ndings about patterns of economic, political, and cultural development in the region. These keen insights nicely http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War's Aftermath (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 1 (4) – Nov 17, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

communications. His publications include Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010). Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War’s Aftermath. Edited by Andrew L. Slap. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Pp. 379. Cloth, $40.00.) If this edited volume has a recurring theme, it is that the historical period most crucial to the fate of Appalachia is also the one most neglected by historians. The book’s thirteen essays, covering 1865–1910, showcase the work of young historians alongside that of seasoned veterans. They eff ectively make the case for placing the era of Reconstruction at the cen- ter of historical analysis of Appalachia. As editor Andrew Slap correctly notes in the fi rst chapter, there are two major historical explanations for the region’s persistent poverty and underdevelopment. The fi rst points to particularly exploitive patterns of industrialization from 1880 to 1920 as the major culprit, while a second argument locates the seeds of impov- erishment in the antebellum era. Moreover, as Gordon McKinney points out in his fi ne introduction, previous studies of both eras have failed to off er consistent fi ndings about patterns of economic, political, and cultural development in the region. These keen insights nicely

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 17, 2011

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