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Country People in the New South: Tennessee's Upper Cumberland

Country People in the New South: Tennessee's Upper Cumberland (Paperback)

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Using the Tennessee antievolution 'Monkey Law,' authored by a local legislator, as a measure of how conservatives successfully resisted, co-opted, or ignored reform efforts, Jeanette Keith explores conflicts over the meaning and cost of progress in Tennessee's hill country from 1890 to 1925. Until the 1890s, the Upper Cumberland was dominated by small farmers who favored limited government and firm local control of churches and schools. Farm men controlled their families' labor and opposed economic risk taking; farm women married young, had large families, and produced much of the family's sustenance. But the arrival of the railroad in 1890 transformed the local economy. Farmers battled town dwellers for control of community institutions, while Progressives called for cultural, political, and economic modernization. Keith demonstrates how these conflicts affected the region's mobilization for World War I, and she argues that by the 1920s shifting gender roles and employment patterns threatened traditionalists' cultural hegemony. According to Keith, religion played a major role in the adjustment to modernity, and local people united to support the 'Monkey Law' as a way of confirming their traditional religious values. |For fifty years, Interpreting Our Heritage has been an indispensable sourcebook for those who are responsible for and who respond to interpretive materials at national parks and monuments. This anniversary edition includes an entirely new selection of photographs, six additional essays by Freeman Tilden, and a new foreword and introduction that put this classic work into perspective for present and future generations. Whether the problem is to make a prehistoric site come to life or to explain the geological theory behind a particular rock formation, Tilden provides helpful principles to follow.

Jeanette Keith is associate professor of history at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.

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