Hillbilly : A Cultural History of an American Icon

Hillbilly : A Cultural History of an American Icon

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In this pioneering work of cultural history, historian Anthony Harkins argues that the hillbilly-in his various guises of qbriar hopper, q qbrush ape, q qridge runner, q and qwhite trashq-has been viewed by mainstream Americans simultaneously as a violent degenerate who threatens the modern order and as a keeper of traditional values of family, home, and physical production, and thus symbolic of a nostalgic past free of the problems of contemporary life. qHillbillyq signifies both rugged individualism and stubborn backwardness, strong family and kin networks but also inbreeding and bloody feuds. Spanning film, literature, and the entire expanse of American popular culture, from D. W. Griffith to hillbilly music to the Internet, Harkins illustrates how the image of the hillbilly has consistently served as both a marker of social derision and regional pride. He traces the corresponding changes in representations of the hillbilly from late-nineteenth century America, through the great Depression, the mass migrations of Southern Appalachians in the 1940s and 1950s, the War on Poverty in the mid 1960s, and to the present day. Harkins also argues that images of hillbillies have played a critical role in the construction of whiteness and modernity in twentieth century America. Richly illustrated with dozens of photographs, drawings, and film and television stills, this unique book stands as a testament to the enduring place of the hillbilly in the American imagination.A Cultural History of an American Icon Anthony Harkins Assistant Professor of History Western Kentucky University. aquot;a€”And High Time! After 7 Years on the Air, the Beverly Hillbillies Pay Their First Visit to the Ozarks.aquot; TV Guide, August 23, anbsp;...

Title:Hillbilly : A Cultural History of an American Icon
Author:Anthony Harkins Assistant Professor of History Western Kentucky University
Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA - 2003-11-20


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