Between the world wars, America embraced an image of the Ozarks as a remote land of hills and hollers. The popular imagination stereotyped Ozarkers as ridge runners, hillbillies, and pioneers—a cast of colorful throwbacks hostile to change. But the real Ozarks reflected a more complex reality.
Brooks Blevins tells the cultural history of the Ozarks as a regional variation of an American story. As he shows, the experiences of the Ozarkers have not diverged from the currents of mainstream life as sharply or consistently as the mythmakers would have it. If much of the region seemed to trail behind by a generation, the time lag was rooted more in poverty and geographic barriers than a conscious rejection of the modern world and its progressive spirit. In fact, the minority who clung to the old days seemed exotic largely because their anachronistic ways clashed against the backdrop of the evolving region around them. Blevins explores how these people’s disproportionate influence affected the creation of the idea of the Ozarks, and reveals the truer idea that exists at the intersection of myth and reality.
The conclusion to the acclaimed trilogy, The History of the Ozarks, Volume 3: The Ozarkers offers an authoritative appraisal of the modern Ozarks and its people.
About the Author
Brooks Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. He is the author or editor of eleven books, including A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks; A History of the Ozarks, Volume 2: The Conflicted Ozarks; Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South; and Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a State.
Published by University of Illinois Press, December 14, 2021. Hardcover, 344 pages.