Our Living Heritage

Our Living Heritage presents an inside look at the vitality of the Southern Appalachian culture that has persisted throughout the turbulent Twentieth Century. Caricatured for decades by the mass culture as Snuffy Smiths and Li’l Abners and Beverly Hillbillies, the people of the mountain coves and ridges have maintained a family oriented, self-sufficient lifestyle coveted by many today. Michael Joslin allows the people themselves to tell their stories, revealing their sense of pride in what they have achieved and in their values that derive from the same sensibilities that led their forefathers to brave a wilderness and carve a lifestyle far from the comforting security of the crowd. Although good roads, electricity, and mass communications have altered their material lives, their fundamental sense of their place in God’s creation has remained the same. Real men and women simply recount their experiences on page after page. While women of her generation danced as flappers in the Roaring ’20s and bemoaned the rigors of the Depression ”30s, Erna Horton and her husband made a satisfying life for themselves and their family through hard manual labor and enduring love.

While men of his generation struggled to establish their status with fancier cars and bigger houses, Cleo Edwards remained in the house in which he was born, satisfied to experience the fullness of life in each changing season. Living itself was his reward.

Craftsman, horsemen, merchants, farmers, educators, lumbermen, and jacks-of-all-trades speak true, while the material remnants of old cookstoves and buildings, roads and mills mutely convey their messages. The many narratives piece together to form an heirloom quilt of mountain life. Personal stories, historical sketches, descriptive pieces, articles on mountain lore and crafts, and even an authentic ghost story provide variety in a coherent whole. Complementing the text are Michael Joslin’s color and black-and-white photographs that capture the vitality that words often miss.

Whether read from cover to cover or dipped into like a cool mountain spring. Our Living Heritage will refresh and invigorate you, and give you hope for the future. These are not stories and pictures of the past, but tales and photographs that show how hard work and faith in well-worn ways have preserved a worthy, rewarding way of life.
  • 6 x 9 Trade Paper
  • Subject: Appalachian Culture

Condition: New

ISBN: 978-1-57072-079-6

In stock