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Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains by Steven E. Nash

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This book won the 2016 Weatherford Award for non-fiction given by the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College. It focuses on Western North Carolina, arguably the most pro-Confederate of the mountain sections of Southern states. After chapter one which sets the stage, each of the subsequent chapters covers a few years from 1865 to 1880. “Deeply researched and engagingly written, Reconstruction's Ragged Edge provides new insight into a complex and tumultuous past and can be warmly welcomed as further evidence of the upland region's escape from the margins of southern historiography.” --Journal of American History. “This deeply researched study challenges our traditional understanding of Reconstruction. Steven E. Nash demonstrates that a biracial, class-based political alliance was possible in the Appalachian highlands and that the elite could only return to power through economic coercion and violence. An insightful and impressive work.” --Gordon McKinney. “In his compelling book, Steven E. Nash explores the rich complexity of western North Carolina's Reconstruction politics, offering new insights and evidence while challenging--and correcting--previous historical misconceptions about the unfolding of Reconstruction in the mountain South.” --Aaron Astor.  Steven E. Nash teaches history at East Tennessee State University.

Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, a 2018 paperback reprint of a 2016 release. 272 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes, tables, and maps. Trade paperback