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Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Another Elegy for Appalachia

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By Mark Banker

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” spoke recently at the University of Tennessee. His visit to East Tennessee spurred me to share these thoughts about our similar – yet very different – journeys.

Mine began and continues in Roane County!

Vance’s ancestors settled in hardscrabble Eastern Kentucky at a time when coal was king. There, they developed traits that came to distinguish Appalachian: an isolated rural lifestyle, fierce independence and disdain for formal education.


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Roane County News | circulation@roanecounty.com | 865-376-3481
P.O. Box 610, 204 Franklin Street, Kingston, TN 37763
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday