Within this book, Jerry Bruce Thomas recounts the difficulties the state of West Virginia faced during the post-World War II period. As the long boom of this era’s economic expansion spread across the globe, dreams of white picket fences, democratic ideals, and endless opportunities flourished within the United States. Middle America experienced a period of affluent stability built upon a modern age of industrialization.
Yet for the people of Appalachia, this new era brought economic, social, and environmental devastation, preventing many from realizing the American Dream. Some families suffered in silence; some joined a mass exodus from the mountains; while others, trapped by unemployment, poverty, illness, and injury became dependent upon welfare. As the one state most completely Appalachian, West Virginia symbolized the region’s dilemma, even as it provided much of the labor and natural resources that fueled the nation’s prosperity.
An Appalachian Reawakening documents this turmoil while tracing the efforts of the New Frontier and Great Society programs, which stimulated maximum feasible participation and led to the ultimate rise of grass roots activities and organizations that improved life and labor in the region and undermined the notion of Appalachian fatalism.
Jerry Bruce Thomas is professor emeritus of history at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and author of “An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression.”
December 2010 � 470pp
HC 978-1-933202-59-4: $75.95
PB 978-1-933202-58-7: $24.95
To purchase a copy of “An Appalachian Reawakening,” visit www.wvupress.com. For more information or to book Jerry Bruce Thomas for an interview or appearance, contact Abby Freeland, marketing manager at WVU Press, at (304) 293-8400 ext. 33508 or email@example.com.
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