Five books have attempted to become universally accepted as a text for introductory Appalachian Studies Courses. None have succeeded. The first was Voices from the Hills by Robert J. Higgs and Ambrose N. Manning of East Tennessee State University (1975) which morphed into Appalachia Inside Out (two volumes) with Jim Wayne Miller joining the editing crew (1995). The next was the first edition of this book (1976) by Bruce Ergood Bruce Kuhre of Ohio University. The next was High Mountains Rising: Appalachia in Time and Place by Richard A. Straw and H. Tyler Blethen of Western Carolina University (2004). Then there was A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region by Grace Edwards, JoAnn Asbury and Ricky Cox of Radford University (2006). The fifth edition of this book (2007) was edited by Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael Maloney of the University of Cincinnati. It lists for $105, seriously. It is a nice collection of articles about the region. When I taught Appalachian Studies at the University of Kentucky, I didn't use any of these books, nor did I when I taught their first on-line and correspondence course on the subject. I value all of these books, but if forced to choose for a course, I'd choose the Handbook.
Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2007. 416 pages with a Foreword by Chad Berry, a Bibliography by Jo B. Brown, Selected Films by Jack Wright, Selected Websites by Roy Silver, References, charts and graphs.