"Finalist for the Tennessee Library Association Award."
"A rich, multi-layered account of rural life in the Upper Cumberland. Drawing on the work of more than a dozen scholars, they [the editors] mix essays on history and literature with others on such diverse topics as folk architecture, religion, music, and arts and crafts. They give the reader a good sense of daily life set against a broad historical and cultural narrative." David Lee, Western Kentucky University"
"Few can pick up this book without learning some fascinating, previously unknown, tidbits of information." Appalachian Heritage"
"This remarkable diversity of subject matter, coupled with the quality of the writing and research is impressive." Appalachian Journal"
"This collection is a welcome addition to the study of Appalachian rural culture and will be of interest to general as well as academic readers. It effectively underlines the rich historical and cultural diversity of the Appalachian experience. Highly recommended." Choice"
"Entertainment runs throughout the articles which cover such diverse subjects as the 'clothing optional' nudist resort in Cumberland County, movies that were shot in or about the Upper Cumberland, and the uses for caves in daily life for things like refrigeration and hiding moonshine." Cookeville (TN) Herald-Citizen"
"I commendthe author of this book for showing how interesting local history and cultural studies can be and how well they connect with and complicate national historiography." Journal of American History"
"The collection is a most interesting one that contains pieces on both mainstream subjects (Civil War, religion, architecture) and niche topics (comb graves, nudist colonies, caves)." Journal of Southern History"
"There is much information reflecting the local lifestyles and folk culture.... A scholarly text with relevance for studies in history, sociology, and anthropology." Kentucky Kaleidoscope"
"Examines regional popular and material culture largely neglected by other scholars." Kentucky Monthly"
"A grand tour of the history and folk culture of the Upper Cumberland area. A cooperative effort that includes many of the leading scholars of the region, the collection paints a broad picture of life and culture in the rural foothills of the middle South. In its pages we find slaves and masters, preachers and rogues, heroes and hillbilly socialists, all revealing the complex and fascinating culture of one of America's great folk regions." Ronald D. Eller, University of Kentucky"
"While parts of the Upper Cumberland's history have been chronicled before... the landscape in Rural Life is one rarely glimpsed." Tennessee Tech Visions"
"The enjoyable overview articles, substantive research contributions on topic critically important to scholars and regional history buffs alike, and glimpses into surprising facets of the region's past add up to a book well worth placing in any collection on Tennessee history or Appalachian studies." Benita Howell, Journal of Appalachian Studies"