This book had an enormous impact providing a crucial step towards legitimizing Appalachian Studies and Appalachian Literature in 1962. It arrived the year after Cratis Williams doctoral dissertation, The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction took the first vital step, and it paved the way for Harry M. Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands the following year. The 19 chapters in this book dealt with population, economy, society, and folk arts. The combination of Cratis Williams', focus on literature, and Wilma Dykeman's essay in this book, "Literature Since 1900," produced an impetus that provided Appalachian Literature, as a sub-genre,the attention it needed to progress alongside Appalachian Studies.
Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 1962. 308 pages with an Index, charts and maps.