When originally published, A New History of Kentucky provided a comprehensive study of the Commonwealth, bringing it to life by revealing the many faces, deep traditions, and historical milestones of the state. With new discoveries and findings, the narrative continues to evolve, and so does the telling of Kentucky's rich history. In this second edition, authors James C. Klotter and Craig Thompson Friend provide significantly revised content with updated material on gender politics, African American history, and cultural history. This wide-ranging volume includes a full overview of the state and its economic, educational, environmental, racial, and religious histories.
At its essence, Kentucky's story is about its people -- not just the notable and prominent figures but also lesser-known and sometimes overlooked personalities. The human spirit unfolds through the lives of individuals such as Shawnee peace chief Nonhelema Hokolesqua and suffrage leader Madge Breckinridge, early land promoter John Filson, author Wendell Berry, and Iwo Jima flag--raiser Private Franklin Sousley. They lived on a landscape defined by its topography as much as its political boundaries, from Appalachia in the east to the Jackson Purchase in the west, and from the Walker Line that forms the Commonwealth's southern boundary to the Ohio River that shapes its northern boundary. Along the journey are traces of Kentucky's past -- its literary and musical traditions, its state-level and national political leadership, and its basketball and bourbon. Yet this volume also faces forthrightly the Commonwealth's blemishes -- the displacement of Native Americans, African American enslavement, the legacy of violence, and failures to address poverty and poor health. A New History of Kentucky ranges throughout all parts of the Commonwealth to explore its special meaning to those who have called it home. It is a broadly interpretive, all-encompassing narrative that tells Kentucky's complex, extensive, and ever-changing story.
"In 1997 the late Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter published the monumental A New History of Kentucky, the first major reinterpretation of the commonwealth's history in six decades. Now, in this new edition, Klotter and historian Craig Thompson Friend bring the story of Kentucky's past up into the second decade of the twenty-first century. Not only does this fast-paced, detailed, and beautifully-written second edition detail Kentucky's contemporary history, but it thoroughly revises the state's antebellum decades. Richly illustrated and documented, this major text underscores the complexities of Kentucky's people -- their contradictions, their triumphs, and their tragedies. Readers will find Klotter and Friend's book a people's history -- a penetrating look at and an appreciation of those who consider the commonwealth their home, now and then." -- John David Smith, co-editor of A Union Woman in Civil War Kentucky
"Kentucky's history is rich in drama, diversity, and significance. Using a breadth of past and present research, James C. Klotter and Craig Thompson Friend have written an extensive, yet entertaining, narrative of Kentucky's past. Their work includes important analysis of the roles played by Native Americans, African Americans, and women in the forging of the state, and updates the political, social, and economic history into twenty-first century Kentucky. This book will be valued by academics, students, and readers of history alike." -- Andrea Watkins, Northern Kentucky University
"This newly revised edition reflects the latest scholarship about the commonwealth and its peoples. What is more, it is written in an engaging, accessible manner that will appeal to students and history-minded Kentuckians alike." -- Thomas H. Appleton Jr., Eastern Kentucky University
"This second edition offers readers a fresh and wonderfully engaging perspective of Kentucky history. It skillfully captures the images, individuals, and institutions that have given Kentucky its distinct character. It offers an intimate and insightful portrayal of the changes and controversies in Kentucky history. Lastly, it is an impressive blend of state and national history." -- Gerald L. Smith, co-editor of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia
"This truly new history of Kentucky combines masterful storytelling, cultural depth, and a wealth of fresh evidence. Inclusive and illuminating, it is a welcome look at the region's diverse peoples, entrenched myths, and frequently hidden realities. The authors balance the Commonwealth's political past against lesser-known traditions and ideas that shaped ordinary lives on a considerable scale. The New History of Kentucky is an exciting, rich narrative for the twenty-first century!" -- Melissa A. McEuen, co-editor of Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times
"It is well worth a reader's time to treat A New History of Kentucky as an action-packed novel or even as a primer for Kentucky citizenship. [This work] offers readers a detailed map of the territory their ancestors explored as well as vivid descriptions of places and practices contemporary Kentuckians continue to navigate." -- Kentucky Humanities