Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a State
What do Scott Joplin, John Grisham, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Maya Angelou, Brooks Robinson, Helen Gurley Brown, Johnny Cash, Alan Ladd, and Sonny Boy Williamson have in common? They're all Arkansans. What do hillbillies, rednecks, slow trains, bare feet, moonshine, and double-wides have in common? For many in America these represent Arkansas more than any Arkansas success stories do. In 1931 H. L. Mencken described AR (not AK, folks) as the "apex of moronia." While, in 1942 a Time magazine article said Arkansas had "developed a mass inferiority complex unique in American history."
Arkansas/Arkansaw is the first book to explain how Arkansas's image began and how the popular culture stereotypes have been perpetuated and altered through succeeding generations. Brooks Blevins argues that the
image has not always been a bad one. He discusses travel accounts, literature, radio programs, movies, and television shows that give a very positive image of the Natural State. From territorial accounts of the Creole inhabitants of the Mississippi River Valley to national derision of the state's triple-wide governor's mansion to Li'l Abner, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Slingblade, Blevins leads readers on an entertaining and insightful tour through more than two centuries of the idea of Arkansas. One discovers along the way how one state becomes simultaneously a punch line and a source of admiration for progressives and social critics alike.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a StateUser Review - Carolyn - Goodreads
Very interesting, detailed history of how Arkansas aquired its hillbilly reputation and inferiority complex. The book is detailed and academic, not an easy read, but well worth the effort for those of us interested in all things Arkansas. Read full review
Review: Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a StateUser Review - Tiffany Rauch-Dickson - Goodreads
completely fascinating read about the history of the hillbilly association with Arkansas. as an Arkansan I learned some history about the culture within the state I never knew and recognized a lot about myself and other Arkansans in how we approach the outside world. highly recommended!!! Read full review