Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.16 X 9.3 X 0.8 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Anthony Harkins is an Assistant Professor in History at Western Kentucky University.


"Anthony Harkins has written a fine book about how misconceptions were perpetuatedhe gives us insight into the ways the hillbilly icon has served the 'mainstream' belief system and the reasons the hillbilly icon had and has such power."--Herb E. Smith, Journal of Appalachian Studies

"Beautifully written and well illustrated, this volume builds upon a generation of research on regional images and the politics of culture in the Appalachian South. By setting that literature in the larger context of American cultural history, Harkins not only contributes to a broader understanding of the struggle to define and control national identity; he also points the way to a more critical assessment of the roles of class, gender, and race in regional identity as well."--The Journal of American History

"In the pantheon of American regional icons, none slouches more prominently than the hillbilly....an accessible and thought-provoking analysis of an American icon and its place within the American consciousness."--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"[A] sophisticated m´┐Żlange of image and reality regarding southern white culture..."--History of Education Quarterly

"Harkin's research is truly impressive, and his writing could not be clearer....[A] significant, highly accessible book of considerable value to scholars and advanced students."--History

"Tony Harkins has gone deeper, understood a wider range of pop-culture materials, and analyzed more insightfully the twentieth-century image of the American 'hillbilly' than any other scholar in this or the previous century. My hat's not only off to him. It's way up in the air!"--Jerry Williamson, author of Hillbillyland

"This is an impressively researched and meticulously documented study of one of the pervasive terms in American popular culture, 'hillbilly, ' a concept that has both reflected and shaped public views of southern white working people. Students in my field of research, Southern Folk Music, will obviously profit from this beautifully written work, but anyone intrigued by the ways in which stereotypes have clouded our perceptions will want to read this book."--Bill C. Malone, author of Country Music, U.S.A.

"Harkins' Hillbilly is an intriguing and wide-ranging study of a strangely enduring American type, one both loved and despised but still nationally (if not internationally) recognized. From Snuffy Smith and Li'l Abner to The Real McCoys and the Clampett clan, Harkins discusses how the hillbilly image itself has remained relatively unchanged, while its meaning has evolved in response to broader social, economic, and cultural transformations in American society."--Erika Doss, University of Colorado

"Distilling truths and untruths about a great American archetype, Hillbilly is insightful and respectful without draining out all the fun. Anthony Harkins writes entertaining yet sophisticated analysis, free of ten-dollar words and other academic moonshine."--Scott A. Sandage, Carnegie Mellon University