Dialogue: The Myths of Modern Appalachia

Jul 5, 2017

Credit National Park Service

Appalachia is the place to be these days, at least for reporters and columnists searching for…well, what exactly? The roots of Donald Trump’s appeal? The plight of former coal towns? Explanations for the rise of the alt-right?

Yeah, all of the above, and more. Our guest on the July edition of Dialogue says Appalachia is often used as a canvas, allowing commentators to paint whatever picture they like. And, she says, the resulting image is usually way off the mark.

Dr. Elizabeth Catte is an East Tennessee native, historian, writer and consultant. She says Appalachia is more racially, politically, economically and culturally diverse than people know, and that most attempts to describe or summarize the region fall short.

Dr. Catte is the author of the forthcoming book What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, and she joins host Brandon Hollingsworth for an hour-long discussion about the myths of modern Appalachia.