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Endless Caverns: An Underground Journey into the Show Caves of Appalachia by Douglas Reichert Powell

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You don’t have to be a spelunker or even give a hoot about caves to relish this book. Powell places these 36 caverns in their historical, literary, and environmental context with an emphasis on the people who developed and visited these caves, from Cormac McCarthy to P. T. Barnum. He limits his purview to the Great Appalachian Valley that stretches from the Potomac Valley in Maryland, through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, into the Holston and Tennessee Valley’s in Tennessee down where the Tennessee Valley enters Alabama, including caves in the mountains that border these valleys. “Reichert Powell is an engaging and often hilarious writer with a passion for show caves and all of the people that make them possible. He is a meticulous historian, an acute and often daring ethnographer, but most of all an audacious and creative storyteller.” --West Virginia History. Reichert Powell’s research is authoritative, and his love for the topic radiates from the book.” – Scott Huler. “Endless Caverns is a personal odyssey of the author's travels through Appalachian show caves. A well-written book that will appeal to readers interested in Americana, the development and management of show caves, and the history of the Appalachian region” –Choice. “Powell leaves no caving-related topic unexplored. . . . Reading the book was like talking to an acquaintance who is able to share his love of a particular topic and make us love it too. Anyone interested in the cultural history of the Southern Appalachian region, or anyone with even the most remote interest in caves, should pick up this book” --Journal of Appalachian Studies.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, a 2022 paperback reprint of a 2018 hardback release. 218 pages with a General Index, and Index of Caves and Caverns, Note on Sources, figures, maps, and photos. Trade paperback.