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The Big Sandy

by Carol Crowe-Carraco

Availablepaperback$30.00s 978-0-8131-9272-7
Kentucky Bicentennial Bookshelf
154 pages  Pubdate:   5 x 8  8 b&w photos, 1 map

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The Big Sandy River and its two main tributaries, the Tug and Levisa forks, drain nearly two million mountainous acres in the easternmost part of Kentucky. For generations, the only practical means of transportation and contact with the outside world was the river, and, as The Big Sandy demonstrates, steamboats did much to shape the culture of the region. Carol Crowe-Carraco offers an intriguing and readable account of this region’s history from the days of the venturesome Long Hunters of the eighteenth century, through the bitter struggles of the Civil War and its aftermath, up to the 1970s, with their uncertain promise of a new prosperity. The Big Sandy pictures these changes vividly while showing how the turbulent past of the valley lives on in the region’s present.

Carol Crowe-Carraco is associate professor of history at Western Kentucky University.