Spirits of Just Men

Author: Charles D. Thompson Jr.
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252095269
Release Date: 2011-04-20
Genre: History

Spirits of Just Men tells the story of moonshine in 1930s America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Virginia, a place that many still refer to as the "moonshine capital of the world." Charles D. Thompson Jr. chronicles the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia's local moonshine economy. Thompson, whose ancestors were involved in the area's moonshine trade and trial as well as local law enforcement, uses the event as a stepping-off point to explore Blue Ridge Mountain culture, economy, and political engagement in the 1930s. Drawing from extensive oral histories and local archival material, he illustrates how the moonshine trade was a rational and savvy choice for struggling farmers and community members during the Great Depression. Local characters come alive through this richly colorful narrative, including the stories of Miss Ora Harrison, a key witness for the defense and an Episcopalian missionary to the region, and Elder Goode Hash, an itinerant Primitive Baptist preacher and juror in a related murder trial. Considering the complex interactions of religion, economics, local history, Appalachian culture, and immigration, Thompson's sensitive analysis examines the people and processes involved in turning a basic agricultural commodity into such a sought-after and essentially American spirit.

Moonshine

Author: Jaime Joyce
Publisher: Zenith Press
ISBN: 9781627882071
Release Date: 2014-06-15
Genre: History

DIV/divDIVNothing but clear, 100-proof American history./divDIV /divDIVHooch. White lightning. White whiskey. Mountain dew. Moonshine goes by many names. So what is it, really? Technically speaking, “moonshine” refers to untaxed liquor made in an unlicensed still. In the United States, it’s typically corn that’s used to make the clear, unaged beverage, and it’s the mountain people of the American South who are most closely associated with the image of making and selling backwoods booze at night—by the light of the moon—to avoid detection by law enforcement./divDIV /divDIVIn Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor, writer Jaime Joyce explores America’s centuries-old relationship with moonshine through fact, folklore, and fiction. From the country’s early adoption of Scottish and Irish home distilling techniques and traditions to the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s to a comparison of the moonshine industry pre- and post-Prohibition, plus a look at modern-day craft distilling, Joyce examines the historical context that gave rise to moonshining in America and explores its continued appeal. But even more fascinating is Joyce’s entertaining and eye-opening analysis of moonshine’s widespread effect on U.S. pop culture: she illuminates the fact that moonshine runners were NASCAR’s first marquee drivers; explores the status of white whiskey as the unspoken star of countless Hollywood film and television productions, including The Dukes of Hazzard, Thunder Road, and Gator; and the numerous songs inspired by making ’shine from such folk and country artists as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Alan Jackson, and Dolly Parton. So while we can’t condone making your own illegal liquor, reading Moonshine will give you a new perspective on the profound implications that underground moonshine-making has had on life in America./div

Hillbilly Hellraisers

Author: J. Blake Perkins
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252099977
Release Date: 2017-09-11
Genre: History

J. Blake Perkins searches for the roots of rural defiance in the Ozarks--and discovers how it changed over time. Eschewing generalities, Perkins focuses on the experiences and attitudes of rural people themselves as they interacted with government in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He uncovers the reasons local disputes and uneven access to government power fostered markedly different reactions by hill people as time went by. Resistance in the earlier period sprang from upland small farmers' conflicts with capitalist elites who held the local levers of federal power. But as industry and agribusiness displaced family farms after World War II, a conservative cohort of town business elites, local political officials, and Midwestern immigrants arose from the region's new low-wage, union-averse economy. As Perkins argues, this modern anti-government conservatism bore little resemblance to the populist backcountry populism of an earlier age but had much in common with the movement elsewhere.

Lawless

Author: Matt Bondurant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451699708
Release Date: 2012-09-11
Genre: Fiction

With a Foreword by Director John Hillcoat Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, Lawless is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads, piecing together the clues linking the brothers to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and breaking open the silence that shrouds Franklin County. In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men—their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires—to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.

Blood in the Hills

Author: Bruce Stewart
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813134277
Release Date: 2012
Genre: History

To many antebellum Americans, Appalachia was a frightening wilderness of lawlessness, peril, robbers, and hidden dangers. The extensive media coverage of horse stealing and scalping raids profiled the regionÕs residents as intrinsically violent. After the Civil War, this characterization continued to permeate perceptions of the area and news of the conflict between the Hatfields and the McCoys, as well as the bloodshed associated with the coal labor strikes, cemented AppalachiaÕs violent reputation. Blood in the Hills: A History of Violence in Appalachia provides an in-depth historical analysis of hostility in the region from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Editor Bruce E. Stewart discusses aspects of the Appalachian violence culture, examining skirmishes with the native population, conflicts resulting from the regionÕs rapid modernization, and violence as a function of social control. The contributors also address geographical isolation and ethnicity, kinship, gender, class, and race with the purpose of shedding light on an often-stereotyped regional past. Blood in the Hills does not attempt to apologize for the region but uses detailed research and analysis to explain it, delving into the social and political factors that have defined Appalachia throughout its violent history.

The Old German Baptist Brethren

Author: Charles Dillard Thompson
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252031038
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Religion

A traditional community's struggle to define itself in the face of agricultural change Since arriving nearly 250 years ago in Franklin County, Virginia, German Baptists have maintained their faith and farms by relying on their tightly knit community for spiritual and economic support. Today, with their land and livelihoods threatened by the encroachment of neighboring communities, the construction of a new highway, and competition from corporate megafarms, the German Baptists find themselves forced to adjust. Charles D. Thompson Jr.'s The Old German Baptist Brethren combines oral history with ethnography and archival research--as well as his own family ties to the Franklin County community--to tell the story of the Brethren's faith on the cusp of impending change. The book traces the transformation of their operations from frontier subsistence farms to cash-based enterprises, connecting this with the wider confluence of agriculture and faith in colonial America. Using extensive interviews, Thompson looks behind the scenes at how individuals interpret their own futures in farming, their hope for their faith, and how the failure of religiously motivated agriculture figures in the larger story of the American farmer. - Publisher.

The People and Their Peace

Author: Laura F. Edwards
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469619859
Release Date: 2014-06-30
Genre: History

In the half-century following the Revolutionary War, the logic of inequality underwent a profound transformation within the southern legal system. Drawing on extensive archival research in North and South Carolina, Laura F. Edwards illuminates those changes by revealing the importance of localized legal practice. Edwards shows that following the Revolution, the intensely local legal system favored maintaining the "peace," a concept intended to protect the social order and its patriarchal hierarchies. Ordinary people, rather than legal professionals and political leaders, were central to its workings. Those without rights--even slaves--had influence within the system because of their positions of subordination, not in spite of them. By the 1830s, however, state leaders had secured support for a more centralized system that excluded people who were not specifically granted individual rights, including women, African Americans, and the poor. Edwards concludes that the emphasis on rights affirmed and restructured existing patriarchal inequalities, giving them new life within state law with implications that affected all Americans. Placing slaves, free blacks, and white women at the center of the story, The People and Their Peace recasts traditional narratives of legal and political change and sheds light on key issues in U.S. history, including the persistence of inequality--particularly slavery--in the face of expanding democracy.

Stalling for Time

Author: Gary Noesner
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780525511281
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The FBI's chief hostage negotiator recounts harrowing standoffs, including the Waco siege with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, in a memoir that serves as a basis for the upcoming series Waco. In Stalling for Time, the FBI's chief hostage negotiator takes readers on a harrowing tour through many of the most famous hostage crises in the history of the modern FBI, including the siege at Waco, the Montana Freemen standoff, and the D.C. sniper attacks. Having helped develop the FBI's nonviolent communication techniques for achieving peaceful outcomes in tense situations, Gary Noesner offers a candid, fascinating look back at his years as an innovator in the ranks of the Bureau and a pioneer on the front lines. Whether vividly recounting showdowns with the radical Republic of Texas militia or clashes with colleagues and superiors that expose the internal politics of America's premier law enforcement agency, Stalling for Time crackles with insight and breathtaking suspense. Case by case, minute by minute, it's a behind-the-scenes view of a visionary crime fighter in action. Praise for Stalling for Time "Riveting . . . the most in-depth and absorbing section is devoted to the 1993 siege near Waco, Texas."--The Washington Post "Captivating . . . an electrifying read . . . No Hollywood movie can top this story for thrills, suspense, or action."--New York Journal of Books "Certain to fascinate true crime readers . . . The compelling centerpiece of the book is Noesner's analysis of 'what went wrong at Waco' with the Branch Davidians."--Publishers Weekly "An intense, immersive narrative . . . vicariously entertaining."--Kirkus Reviews "Engrossing . . . The book is also an intimate history of contemporary American militia movements."--New Republic

Power to the Poor

Author: Gordon K. Mantler
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469608068
Release Date: 2013-02-25
Genre: Social Science

The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 has long been overshadowed by the assassination of its architect, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the political turmoil of that year. In a major reinterpretation of civil rights and Chicano movement history, Gordon K. Mantler demonstrates how King's unfinished crusade became the era's most high-profile attempt at multiracial collaboration and sheds light on the interdependent relationship between racial identity and political coalition among African Americans and Mexican Americans. Mantler argues that while the fight against poverty held great potential for black-brown cooperation, such efforts also exposed the complex dynamics between the nation's two largest minority groups. Drawing on oral histories, archives, periodicals, and FBI surveillance files, Mantler paints a rich portrait of the campaign and the larger antipoverty work from which it emerged, including the labor activism of Cesar Chavez, opposition of Black and Chicano Power to state violence in Chicago and Denver, and advocacy for Mexican American land-grant rights in New Mexico. Ultimately, Mantler challenges readers to rethink the multiracial history of the long civil rights movement and the difficulty of sustaining political coalitions.

The Tragic Black Buck

Author: Carlyle Van Thompson
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 0820462063
Release Date: 2004-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism

"The Tragic Black Buck" examines the phenomenon, often paradoxical, of black males passing for white in American literature. Focusing on the first third of the twentieth century, this book argues that black individuals successfully assuming a white identity represent a paradox, in that passing for white exemplifies a challenge to the hegemonic philosophy of biological white supremacy, while denying blackness. Issues of race, gender, skin color, class, and law are examined in the literature of passing, involving the historical, theoretical, and literary tropes of miscegenation, mimicry, and masquerade. The narratives examined in "The Tragic Black Buck" are Charles Waddell Chesnutt's "The House Behind the Cedars," James Weldon Johnson's "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," and William Faulkner's "Light in August."

The Hawk and the Dove

Author: Nicholas Thompson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1429940506
Release Date: 2009-09-15
Genre: History

A brilliant and revealing biography of the two most important Americans during the Cold War era—written by the grandson of one of them Only two Americans held positions of great influence throughout the Cold War; ironically, they were the chief advocates for the opposing strategies for winning—and surviving—that harrowing conflict. Both men came to power during World War II, reached their professional peaks during the Cold War's most frightening moments, and fought epic political battles that spanned decades. Yet despite their very different views, Paul Nitze and George Kennan dined together, attended the weddings of each other's children, and remained good friends all their lives. In this masterly double biography, Nicholas Thompson brings Nitze and Kennan to vivid life. Nitze—the hawk—was a consummate insider who believed that the best way to avoid a nuclear clash was to prepare to win one. More than any other American, he was responsible for the arms race. Kennan—the dove—was a diplomat turned academic whose famous "X article" persuasively argued that we should contain the Soviet Union while waiting for it to collapse from within. For forty years, he exercised more influence on foreign affairs than any other private citizen. As he weaves a fascinating narrative that follows these two rivals and friends from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, Thompson accomplishes something remarkable: he tells the story of our nation during the most dangerous half century in history.

The Gonzo Way

Author: Anita Thompson
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
ISBN: 1555916228
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The writer Tom Wolfe once described Hunter S. Thompson as the finest comic writer of the 20th century. Thompson was this and more, an apt observer of the American scene for almost four decades, the founding father of Gonzo journalism, and an inspiration to many. Through his writings, Thompson examined the loss of American innocence in the latter part of the 20th century, all the while holding up those deserving of contempt for closer examination and espousing (and exemplifying) what it meant to be a citizen at the end of the American Century. With his death, a vacuum was created that remains to be filled. Anita Thompson explores the legacy of her late husband as a writer and as a citizen, through her own words and through interviews with those who knew him best including Johnny Depp, Ed Bradley, Doug Brinkley, Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray, Senator George McGovern, and others.

Light This Candle

Author: Neal Thompson
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780307421197
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

lan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America’s original Mercury Seven, but he was also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic—the man who hit a golf ball on the moon—he was among the most private of America’s public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously. Light This Candle, based on Neal Thompson’s exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard’s family and closest friends—including John Glenn, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard’s life. Among the first men to fly off aircraft carriers, he was one of the most fearless test pilots. He endured long separations from his devoted wife and three daughters to fly dangerous missions, working his way up the ranks despite clashes with authority over his brazen flying maneuvers and penchant for risky pranks. Hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14. He took every challenge head-on and seemed to win every time. Long overdue, Light This Candle is a candid and inspiring account of a bold American life.

The Human Cost of Food

Author: Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292781784
Release Date: 2002-08-15
Genre: Social Science

Finding fresh fruits and vegetables is as easy as going to the grocery store for most Americans—which makes it all too easy to forget that our food is cultivated, harvested, and packaged by farmworkers who labor for less pay, fewer benefits, and under more dangerous conditions than workers in almost any other sector of the U.S. economy. Seeking to end the public's ignorance and improve workers' living and working conditions, this book addresses the major factors that affect farmworkers' lives while offering practical strategies for action on farmworker issues. The contributors to this book are all farmworker advocates—student and community activists and farmworkers themselves. Focusing on workers in the Southeast United States, a previously understudied region, they cover a range of issues, from labor organizing, to the rise of agribusiness, to current health, educational, and legal challenges faced by farmworkers. The authors blend coverage of each issue with practical suggestions for working with farmworkers and other advocates to achieve justice in our food system both regionally and nationally.