Originally Posted by Ghost
Jim, I agree that Kephart has his 'warts'-but we all do. Historically Kephart rates pretty far down the 'hate' scale compared to guys like Andy Jackson who stabbed the Cherokees in the back [relating to this area and people] . Mooney is the other extreme, an informative academic but 'vanilla'. For good or ill Kephart put 'appalachia' on the map-with generally positive results. Course that's arguable too re: the old GSM area residents who got pushed out.
And, yes, as my boy said about the 'new novel' " ...probably not a literary classic". But whatever it's provenance, I'd consider it a necessary read simply for opinions sake:-).
Personally I like both Kepharts and Nesmuks old campcraft books over the sociological ones -and some of the Adirondack folks didn't like everything Sears wrote about them either.
Regardless, thanks for the info. about the 'new novels' provenance, I'd never heard anything about it. Guess the GSMA saw it as a 'money maker' for the cause.
It'll be interesting what the 'forward' or publisher's notes say in the 'novel' itself. Ghost
Ghost--We'll have to agree to disagree on the manner in which Kepahrt put Appalachia on the map. In that regard, I'll quote two authorities: (1) Try to get access to a copy of Judge Felix Alley's book, Ramdom Thoughts and Musings of a Mountaineer
and see what he has to say about Kephart (and Margaret Morley, another author who looked down on mountain folks). Alley was a well-educated, highly accomplished son of the mountains, and his commentary is telling indeed. (2) My other authority is my 100-year-old father, who knew Kephart personally. He sums up the situation pretty simply: "I didn't like that man. He was always sullen and didn't do the mountain folks any favors."
I will agree on the woodsmanship aspects of his career. He was a master. Also commonly overlooked is his extraordinary knowledge of guns, ballistics, marksmanship, and related subjects.