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.

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.

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: 9780807832639
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

This study discusses changes in the legal logic of slavery, race, and gender. Drawing on extensive archival research in North and South Carolina, Laura F. Edwards illuminates those changes by revealing the importance of localized legal practice.

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.

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.

Moonshiners and Prohibitionists

Author: Bruce E. Stewart
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813130170
Release Date: 2011-03-15
Genre: History

Homemade liquor has played a prominent role in the Appalachian economy for nearly two centuries. The region endured profound transformations during the extreme prohibition movements of the nineteenth century, when the manufacturing and sale of alcohol -- an integral part of daily life for many Appalachians -- was banned. In Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia, Bruce E. Stewart chronicles the social tensions that accompanied the region's early transition from a rural to an urban-industrial economy. Stewart analyzes the dynamic relationship of the bootleggers and opponents of liquor sales in western North Carolina, as well as conflict driven by social and economic development that manifested in political discord. Stewart also explores the life of the moonshiner and the many myths that developed around hillbilly stereotypes. A welcome addition to the New Directions in Southern History series, Moonshiners and Prohibitionists addresses major economic, social, and cultural questions that are essential to the understanding of Appalachian history.

A New South Rebellion

Author: Karin A. Shapiro
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807867051
Release Date: 2017-11-01
Genre: History

In 1891, thousands of Tennessee miners rose up against the use of convict labor by the state's coal companies, eventually engulfing five mountain communities in a rebellion against government authority. Propelled by the insurgent sensibilities of Populism and Gilded Age unionism, the miners initially sought to abolish the convict lease system through legal challenges and legislative lobbying. When nonviolent tactics failed to achieve reform, the predominantly white miners repeatedly seized control of the stockades and expelled the mostly black convicts from the mining districts. Insurrection hastened the demise of convict leasing in Tennessee, though at the cost of greatly weakening organized labor in the state's coal regions. Exhaustively researched and vividly written, A New South Rebellion brings to life the hopes that rural southerners invested in industrialization and the political tensions that could result when their aspirations were not met. Karin Shapiro skillfully analyzes the place of convict labor in southern economic development, the contested meanings of citizenship in late-nineteenth-century America, the weaknesses of Populist-era reform politics, and the fluidity of race relations during the early years of Jim Crow.

Confederate Outlaw

Author: Brian D. McKnight
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807137697
Release Date: 2011-04-08
Genre: History

In the fall of 1865, the United States Army executed Confederate guerrilla Champ Ferguson for his role in murdering fifty-three loyal citizens of Kentucky and Tennessee during the Civil War. Long remembered as the most unforgiving and inglorious warrior of the Confederacy, Ferguson has often been dismissed by historians as a cold-blooded killer. In Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, biographer Brian D. McKnight demonstrates how such a simple judgment ignores the complexity of this legendary character. In his analysis, McKnight maintains that Ferguson fought the war on personal terms and with an Old Testament mentality regarding the righteousness of his cause. He believed that friends were friends and enemies were enemies -- no middle ground existed. As a result, he killed prewar comrades as well as longtime adversaries without regret, all the while knowing that he might one day face his own brother, who served as a Union scout. Ferguson's continued popularity demonstrates that his bloody legend did not die on the gallows. Widespread rumors endured of his last-minute escape from justice, and over time, the borderland terrorist emerged as a folk hero for many southerners. Numerous authors resurrected and romanticized his story for popular audiences, and even Hollywood used Ferguson's life to create the composite role played by Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales. McKnight's study deftly separates the myths from reality and weaves a thoughtful, captivating, and accurate portrait of the Confederacy's most celebrated guerrilla. An impeccably researched biography, Confederate Outlaw offers an abundance of insight into Ferguson's wartime motivations, actions, and tactics, and also describes borderland loyalties, guerrilla operations, and military retribution. McKnight concludes that Ferguson, and other irregular warriors operating during the Civil War, saw the conflict as far more of a personal battle than a political one.

Lawless

Author: Matt Bondurant
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 0857867288
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biographical fiction

A tale of violence, desperation, and greed, as three brothers run moonshine in Virginia during prohibition. The story is based on a true story about the writer's grandfather and two uncles

Culture Makers

Author: Amy Koritz
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252033841
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism

A wide-ranging study of the cultural, social, and technological developments of the 1920s and their effect on the performing arts and literature

Transforming Places

Author: Stephen L. Fisher
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252093760
Release Date: 2012-03-15
Genre: History

In this era of globalization's ruthless deracination, place attachments have become increasingly salient in collective mobilizations across the spectrum of politics. Like place-based activists in other resource-rich yet impoverished regions across the globe, Appalachians are contesting economic injustice, environmental degradation, and the anti-democratic power of elites. This collection of seventeen original essays by scholars and activists from a variety of backgrounds explores this wide range of oppositional politics, querying its successes, limitations, and impacts. The editors' critical introduction and conclusion integrate theories of place and space with analyses of organizations and events discussed by contributors. Transforming Places illuminates widely relevant lessons about building coalitions and movements with sufficient strength to challenge corporate-driven globalization. Contributors are Fran Ansley, Yaira Andrea Arias Soto, Dwight B. Billings, M. Kathryn Brown, Jeannette Butterworth, Paul Castelloe, Aviva Chomsky, Dave Cooper, Walter Davis, Meredith Dean, Elizabeth C. Fine, Jenrose Fitzgerald, Doug Gamble, Nina Gregg, Edna Gulley, Molly Hemstreet, Mary Hufford, Ralph Hutchison, Donna Jones, Ann Kingsolver, Sue Ella Kobak, Jill Kriesky, Michael E. Maloney, Lisa Markowitz, Linda McKinney, Ladelle McWhorter, Marta Maria Miranda, Chad Montrie, Maureen Mullinax, Phillip J. Obermiller, Rebecca O'Doherty, Cassie Robinson Pfleger, Randal Pfleger, Anita Puckett, Katie Richards-Schuster, June Rostan, Rees Shearer, Daniel Swan, Joe Szakos, Betsy Taylor, Thomas E. Wagner, Craig White, and Ryan Wishart.

The Steal

Author: Rachel Shteir
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101516287
Release Date: 2011-06-30
Genre: History

A history of shoplifting, revealing the roots of our modern dilemma. Rachel Shteir's The Steal is the first serious study of shoplifting, tracking the fascinating history of this ancient crime. Dismissed by academia and the mainstream media and largely misunderstood, shoplifting has become the territory of moralists, mischievous teenagers, tabloid television, and self-help gurus. But shoplifting incurs remarkable real-life costs for retailers and consumers. The "crime tax"-the amount every American family loses to shoplifting-related price inflation-is more than $400 a year. Shoplifting cost American retailers $11.7 billion in 2009. The theft of one $5.00 item from Whole Foods can require sales of hundreds of dollars to break even. The Steal begins when shoplifting entered the modern record as urbanization and consumerism made London into Europe's busiest mercantile capital. Crossing the channel to nineteenth-century Paris, Shteir tracks the rise of the department store and the pathologizing of shoplifting as kleptomania. In 1960s America, shoplifting becomes a symbol of resistance when the publication of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book popularizes shoplifting as an antiestablishment act. Some contemporary analysts see our current epidemic as a response to a culture of hyper-consumerism; others question whether its upticks can be tied to economic downturns at all. Few provide convincing theories about why it goes up or down. Just as experts can't agree on why people shoplift, they can't agree on how to stop it. Shoplifting has been punished by death, discouraged by shame tactics, and protected against by high-tech surveillance. Shoplifters have been treated by psychoanalysis, medicated with pharmaceuticals, and enforced by law to attend rehabilitation groups. While a few individuals have abandoned their sticky-fingered habits, shoplifting shows no signs of slowing. In The Steal, Shteir guides us through a remarkable tour of all things shoplifting-we visit the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall, where boosters run rampant, watch the surveillance footage from Winona Ryder's famed shopping trip, and learn the history of antitheft technology. A groundbreaking study, The Steal shows us that shoplifting in its many guises-crime, disease, protest-is best understood as a reflection of our society, ourselves.