Restless Heart: Kentucky's Search for Individual Liberty and Community. By James Larry Hood. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2008. Pp. xx, 136. $49.95 cloth; $25.00 paper)
University of Kentucky history instructor James Larry Hood joins the ongoing conversation about the nature of Kentucky and Kentuckians. Hood argues that balancing the demands of not only the individual and community as the subtitle promises but also of modernism and traditionalism, liberty and equality, and aristocracy and democracy has made Kentucky stand out among the states.
Well Nigh Reconstructed: A Political Novel. By Brinsley Matthews. Edited by Paul D. Yandle. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1882; 2010. Pp. lxxvi, 279. $24.95 paper; $20.00 e-book)
This reprint of the 1882 autobiographical novel by North Carolinian William S. Pearson (writing under a pseudonym) gives voice to white southern Republicans who grew disaffected with the party over the course of Reconstruction. A generous introduction by Yandle helps set the novel in numerous contexts, facilitating its use in the current scholarly conversations about how American authors imagined race, region, and their immediate past in the late nineteenth century.
Beyond the Cabbage Patch: The Literary World of Alice Hegan Rice. By Mary Boewe. (Louisville: Butler Books, 2010. Pp. xix, 411. $34.95 cloth)
This biography draws new attention to Rice, most famous for her novel Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, which illustrated the plight of the urban poor of Louisville at the turn of the twentieth century. [End Page 443] Those interested in Progressive-era social reformers as well as regional and national literary circles of the Gilded Age will find a useful and well-connected figure in Rice. This volume is notable, too, for featuring materials from numerous Kentucky archives.
Tales from Kentucky One-Room School Teachers. By William Lynwood Montell. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011. Pp. 304. $24.95 cloth)
Teachers in the iconic one-room schoolhouses of Kentucky tell their stories in Montell's latest, inspired by his own experience as a student in one. As might be expected, the stories recount the challenges that the one-room system posed, but these seem to be balanced out by experiences and rewards that some find lacking in the modern classroom. [End Page 444]