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Modernizing the Mountaineer: People, Power, and Planning in Appalachia by David E. Whisnant

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This is a pioneering and important work in the then-nascent field of Appalachian Studies as well as consideration of what some call cultural imperialism. The author, David Whisnant, brought to the Appalachian Studies Conference a willingness to challenge scholars he disagreed with in a way that was disconcerting to some who were used to more of a good-ole-boy "don't challenge me, and I won't challenge you" way of getting along. The book offered here is the second edition of this book. The first effort produced only a pre-publication printing, aborted by the publisher's messy divorce. This edition was real, but interrupted when the Director of the publishing company was accused of improper accounting. The 1994 edition from the University of Tennessee Press has been bereft of drama and includes a substantial new introduction by Whisnant which discusses the book's rocky start and considers the advances in Appalachian Studies in the meantime. Even without that new introduction, this book stands as a valuable critique of the organizations that have made efforts aimed at "developing" the region from the end of the nineteenth century through the early seventies when it was written.

Boone: Appalachian Consortium, 1986. Trade paperback.