Appalachia: The place and its people have long inspired a special fascination among travelers and commentators. The rugged, ecologically rich mountains, at once forbidding and inviting, have provided a place of retreat and exploration for lovers of natural beauty and outdoor adventure, while the region’s resources have long lured both capitalists intent on creating wealth and regular folks just looking for a steady wage. The inhabitants native to the region have often been held up as pure, strong, and self-sufficient on the one hand, and derided as primitive, backward, and exotic, on the other. Not quite south or north, east or west, the region continues to defy easy classification. Yet it emerges in Historic Photos of Appalachia as both distinct and as familiarly American. The nearly 200 photographs included here portray the region’s land and people in all their distinctive and sometimes surprising specificityincluding views of towns, houses, and farms; families at home and on the job; railroads, mining, and logging; and beautiful streams and mountain landscapes.