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Ramp Hollow by Steven Stoll - SIGNED

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 This is a signed (not inscribed to somebody else) otherwise MINT hardback copy in dust jacket. When I wrote this up, there were NO signed copies available on the internet.    

     Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Stoll, released on November 21st of this year, is clearly one of the most important books about Appalachia in recent years. It was published by Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan, one of America’s “Big Five” publishers. The author is a formidable scholar who did his undergraduate work at Berkeley and received a master's degree and a doctorate in history from Yale. He has taught throughout his career at Fordham. This is his fifth book from a major publisher.

    In a nutshell, he takes Harriette Arnow’s thesis that 19th Century Appalachia was a land of relatively equal yeoman farmers and Wilma Dunaway’s antithesis that Appalachia has always been integrated into American capitalism and establishes a synthesis around his concept of a makeshift economy. Importantly he expands upon the central concept of Kathryn Newfont’s Blue Ridge Commons emphasizing how important common ground is to sustaining smallholders, and how devastating the appropriation of common ground has been to freeholders throughout the world. Not since Rodger Cunningham’s Apples on the Flood has a book about Appalachia incorporated an international perspective so thoroughly. This book could easily be seen as a contribution to Atlantic history, rather than Appalachian history, except for the fact that beyond mentioning campesinos on eight pages, it doesn’t focus on South America as much as Africa and Europe.


New York: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan, 2018. 432 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.