The first half of the fourteen essays deal with historical issues including Native Americans, pioneer settlement, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, industrialization, the Great Depression, migration, and finally, modernization. The remaining essays take a more cultural focus, addressing stereotypes, music, folklife, language, literature, and religion.
Bringing together many of the most prestigious scholars in Appalachian studies, this volume has been designed for general and classroom use, and includes suggestions for further reading.
Photos in the book reveal the architectural and physical evolution of a vibrant Main Street, which was and still is the very heart of the town. After 1872 town life began to interact with that of the new state university placed in Blacksburg; this study includes many engaging images of life at Virginia Tech over the years. Fascinating photos of people, places, homes, businesses, and important events in the town's history complete the collection. In this contribution to the Images of America series Straw has provided us with an informative look into an earlier period of life in this most interesting and appealing community.