Summary and Info
Professor Harkins does an excellent job in the book, looking at how the "hillbilly" concept came about, from colonial writings to modern movies. He shows that the definition of mountaineer culture has changed as its relationship to mainstream culture has changed. The culture found in Appalachia and the Ozarks) has evolved based upon poverty in the region, outside influences (the Civil War being a big one) and even pop culture icons. Could it be the Hillbilly is a self-fulfilling definition? Certainly in the days of feuding the hill folk seem to revel in the image. If you have the patience really sit down and read this well-researched book you can come to your own conclusions.
Besides, any book that has pictures of both Buster Keaton and Ernest T. Bass is worth looking at!