Published by the University of Georgia Press, Beyond the Mountains explores the ways in which Appalachia often served as a laboratory for the exploration and practice of American conceptions of nature.
The region operated alternately as frontier, wilderness, rural hinterland, region of subsistence agriculture, bastion of yeoman farmers and place to experiment with modernization. In these various takes on the southern mountains, scattered across time and space, both mountain residents and outsiders consistently believed that the region’s environment made Appalachia distinctive, for better or worse.
With chapters dedicated to microhistories focused on particular commodities, Beyond the Mountains builds upon recent Appalachian studies of scholarship, emphasizing the diversity of a region so long considered a homogenous backwater. While Appalachia has a recognizable and real coherence rooted in folkways, agriculture and politics (among other things), it is also a region of varied environments, people and histories.