J. Blake Perkins brings impressive research and a lively narrative to bear in his challenge to scholars such as Bethany Moreton (To Serve God and Walmart, Harvard University Press, 2009) and Darren Dochuk (From Bible Belt to Sun Belt, W.W. Norton, 2011) who have portrayed late twentieth-century rural people’s antimodernist and antigovernment ideologies as a static feature of southern rural culture since the nineteenth century. Focusing on his native Arkansas Ozarks, Perkins explains that while these principles among rural southern whites enjoy a long history, their motivations and undercurrents have remained anything but static since the populist insurgency of the 1890s. The faith poor Ozarkers placed in the federal government to create economic opportunities for rural folks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he argues, eroded over time as local elites tasked to administer the programs of...
Zachary Smith; Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks by J. Blake Perkins. Labor 1 March 2019; 16 (1): 190–191. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7269482
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