Appalachia Book Debunks Some Stereotypes

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Rudy Abramson wanted to publish a reference book about Appalachia that went beyond the stereotypical images of hillbillies and poverty and presented a more realistic picture of the area's history and natural diversity. "The place has this reputation of being just a different nation of poor people and strip mines and that sort of thing," said Abramson, co-editor of the newly released "Encyclopedia of Appalachia," a 1,832-page volume that weighs nearly eight pounds.

The authors note that debate continues over exactly where Appalachia is and even how the name is pronounced. They accept the federal definition of Appalachia as comprising all of West Virginia and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York, roughly following the spine of the ancient Appalachian Mountains.

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