The author, Douglas Reichert Powell, describes this as a book of “creative non-fiction,” making no sociological or historical or geological claims of authenticity, but giving him the freedom to enjoy writing about a topic that fascinates him. Two more disclaimers are appropriate. This book limits itself to the caves of the great Shenandoah and Tennessee Valleys and adjacent ridges, and thus does not even extend to Cumberland Caverns near McMinnville, Tennessee, nor Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Finally, the caves considered do not even have to be currently show caves or open to the public or even, in the case of Nickajack Cave, be filled with air instead of the waters of the dammed-up Tennessee River. This book provides quite an enjoyable journey and does offer considerable insights into the disciplines not claimed. “Reichert Powell's research is authoritative, and his love for the topic radiates from the book.” --Scott Huler “A revelatory and compelling introduction to another Appalachia--Appalachia Underground.”--Jeff Biggers. The author, Douglas Reichert Powell was first exposed to Appalachian caves as an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, and became more deeply engaged in regional studies as a graduate student at East Tenessee State University. His doctorate in English is from Northeastern University, and he currently teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2018. 218 pages with photos, figures, a map, Noes on Sources, Index of Caves and Caverns and a General Index. Hardback in dust jacket