Open top menu
What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

Belt Publishing is thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Notches series:

by Elizabeth Catte
Belt Publishing/Notches
Fall 2017

In 2016 headlines declared Appalachia ground zero for America’s “forgotten tribe” of white working class voters. Journalists flocked to the region to extract sympathetic profiles of families devastated by poverty, abandoned by establishment politics, and eager to consume cheap campaign promises. Following the election, demystifying Appalachia and locating the roots of its dysfunction quickly became a national industry, shoring up the success of J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy and the author’s rise to fame as the media’s favorite working-class whisperer with broad appeal to liberals and conservatives alike. Personal anecdotes that demonstrated the enduring failures of American progress spoken through the mouthpiece of colorful and bereaved mountain folk became its own genre of election writing – the “Trump Country” piece – and in its creation reduced the region’s rich and complex history to a series of character studies.

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia  is a frank assessment of America’s recent fascination with the people and problems of the region. The book analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians. The book offers a must-needed insider’s perspective on the region.

Elizabeth Catte is a writer and historian from East Tennessee. She holds a PhD in public history from Middle Tennessee State University and is the co-owner of Passel, a historical consulting and development company.

photo credit: Documerica 


4 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    January 11, 2017

    This one sounds really important. I’m ready.


  2. Avatar
    March 23, 2017

    I agree, the “coastals” haven’t a clue about our region. We need and indeed have some strong voices here,if only they’d listen.


  3. Avatar
    March 23, 2017

    Jim Van Der Pol I am eager to learn more about your region to see what it has in common with western Minnesota, the flyover land.


  4. Avatar
    March 24, 2017

    I live in this area, that is like two planets. Most people live good but some live worse than in a third world country. Nice area here and rotting areas there. On one side of town is booming and other side seems they are awaiting the end. And almost all fall for conservatives, and a old belief in a age of magic and myth, with the mind of children. But the mountains, lakes, the rivers are great until we let start letting corporate destroy it. I remember the black river that smelled.


Leave a comment