The Upland South: The Making of an American Folk Region and Landscape

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Americans have long been fascinated by the Upland South, a regional band of great natural beauty and a rich, archaic cultural landscape that runs from Virginia and North Carolina west through Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and their bordering states. Celebrated for its distinctive culture in the movie and soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou? and in enduring popular parodies such as the Beverly Hillbillies, Dukes of Hazard, and Mayberry R.F.D., the region is home to a way of life grounded in the singular character of its people.

Tied to the land by a mixture of hardscrabble farming, free-range hill herding, hunting, gathering, and fishing, the region's inhabitants have perpetuated traditional handicrafts and passed on a complex folklore. They speak a distinct nasal dialect and compose and play a "mournful" genre of country music. Their adherence to an emotionally vigorous Calvinism does not stand in the way of their production of moonshine whiskey, and they bury their dead in graveyards that reflect a particular deathlore.

In The Upland South, the geographer Terry Jordan-Bychkov explores the region's character through an analysis of its traditional cultural landscape. Seen through Jordan-Bychkov's eyes, the built environment and its artifacts-houses, barns, town plans, graveyards, church structure, fences, and the like-reveal much about the nature and distribution of Upland South life and culture.

The Upland South is an uplifting, informative, and richly illustrated book about a distinctive region in America. It is sure to be a welcome addition to the literature of the South, for scholars and general readers alike.

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What People Are Saying

"This book identifies and interprets the Upland South in ways that only Terry Jordan-Bychkov can do. This is a solid, well-crafted, well-organized, and balanced work that will appeal to a wide audience of scholars and general readers." -- John B. RehderUniversity of Tennessee, author of Delta Sugar

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930066083
  • Publisher: Center for American Places, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/15/2003
  • Pages: 122
  • Sales rank: 1,305,046
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 A Highland Folk 3
Ch. 2 The Hill Southern Log Culture-Complex 23
Ch. 3 The Upland Southern Folk House 31
Ch. 4 Inventing a Barn 43
Ch. 5 County Seats and Courthouse Squares 61
Ch. 6 Upland Southern Graveyards 71
Ch. 7 A Region Revealed 81
Notes 87
Bibliography 97
Index 115
About the Author 121
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