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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Harkins, assistant professor of history at Western Kentucky University, means to examine the "cultural and.
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They are out to tell some of those stories in their new book, due out next year. Guest host Dr. Michael Bitzer talks with them about why Hillbilly Elegy struck a nerve and we get a different perspective on Appalachia.

Professor of History at Western Kentucky University. Director of writing and rhetoric at Bowdoin College.

She is also the author of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film. View the discussion thread.

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Meet J. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy before his visit to Charlotte. His bestselling book is now being turned into a movie.

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Anthony Harkins on "Hillbilly"

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  • Read preview. Synopsis In this pioneering work of cultural history, historian Anthony Harkins argues that the hillbilly-in his various guises of "briar hopper," "brush ape," "ridge runner," and "white trash"-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. Spanning film, literature, and the entire expanse of American popular culture, from D. 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.