Helen Lewis (b. 1924) is arguably the greatest living icon of Appalachian activism and Appalachian Studies. She taught the very first college Appalachian Studies classes before she was fired by Clinch Valley College - now U.Va.-Wise. She worked for three of the region's pillars of activism and regional study - Highlander, Appalshop, and the Berea College Appalachian Center. Her 1949 Masters thesis at the University of Virginia was entitled, "The Woman Movement and the Negro Movement: Parallel Struggles for Rights," Her 1970 doctoral dissertation at the University of Kentucky was entitled, "Occupational Roles and Family Roles: A Study of Coal-Mining Families in Southern Appalachia." Of her three previous books, the most celebrated is Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case. She currently lives in the ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon, Virginia. This book consists of five essays by the two co-editors, Bill Leonard, Juliet Merrifield, and her husband, John Gaventa.
Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2012. 296 pages with an introduction by Steven L. Fisher, and Index, Biblography, Chronology, and photos.