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The Early Years of Whiskeymaking
Bourbon whiskey is perhaps Kentucky's most distinctive product. Despite bourbon's prominence in the social and economic life of the Bluegrass state, many myths and legends surround its origins. In Kentucky Bourbon, Henry C. Crowgey claims that distilled spirits and pioneer settlement went hand in hand; Isaac Shelby, the state's first governor, was among Kentucky's pioneer distillers. Crowgey traces the drink's history from its beginnings as a cottage industry to steam-based commercial operations in the period just before the Civil War. From "spirited" camp meetings, to bourbon's use as a medium of exchange for goods and services, to the industry's coming of age in the mid-nineteenth century, the story of Kentucky bourbon is a fascinating chapter in the state's early history.
How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event
Each year on the first Saturday in May, the world turns its attention to the twin spires of Churchill Downs for the high-stakes excitement of the "greatest two minutes in sports," the Kentucky Derby. No American sporting event can claim the history, tradition, or pageantry that the Kentucky Derby holds. For more than 130 years, spectators have been fascinated by the magnificent horses that run the Louisville track. Thoroughbreds such as Secretariat and Barbaro have earned instant international fame, along with jockeys such as Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte, and Calvin Borel. The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event calls this great tradition to post and illuminates its history and culture.
Rising from its humble beginnings as an American variation of England's Epsom Derby, the Kentucky Derby became a centerpiece of American sports and the racing industry, confirming Kentucky's status as the Horse Capital of the World. James C. Nicholson argues that the Derby, at its essence, is a celebration of a place, existing as a connection between Kentucky's mythic past and modern society. The Derby is more than just a horse race -- it is an experience enhanced by familiar traditions, icons, and images that help Derby fans to understand Kentucky and define themselves as Americans. Today the Kentucky Derby continues to attract international attention from royalty, celebrities, racing fans, and those who simply enjoy an icy mint julep, a fabulous hat, and a wager on who will make it to the winner's circle.
Nicholson provides an intriguing and thorough history of the Kentucky Derby, examining the tradition, spectacle, culture, and evolution of the Kentucky Derby -- the brightest jewel of the Triple Crown.
Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies
The storytelling tradition has long been an important piece of Kentucky history and culture. Folktales, legends, tall tales, and ghost stories hold a special place in the imaginations of inventive storytellers and captive listeners. In Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies Kentucky storyteller Mary Hamilton narrates a range of stories with the voice and creativity only a master storyteller can evoke.
Hamilton has perfected the art of entrancing an audience no matter the subject of her tales. Kentucky Folktales includes stories about Daniel Boone's ability to single-handedly kill a bear, a daughter who saves her father's land by outsmarting the king, and a girl who uses gingerbread to exact revenge on her evil stepmother, among many others. Hamilton ends each story with personal notes on important details of her storytelling craft, such as where she first heard the story, how it evolved through frequent re-tellings and reactions from audiences, and where the stories take place. Featuring tales and legends from all over the Bluegrass State, Kentucky Folktales captures the expression of Kentucky's storytelling tradition.
The cornerstone of the American republic is an educated, active, and engaged citizenry; however, the multifaceted inner workings of government and the political forces that shape it are incredibly complex. Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy is the first book in nearly three decades to provide a comprehensive overview of the commonwealth's major governing and political institutions and the public policy issues that profoundly affect Kentuckians' daily lives.
In this groundbreaking volume, editors James C. Clinger and Michael W. Hail have assembled respected scholars from across the state to inform citizens about their governing institutions, the consequences of their policy choices, and the intricacies of the political process. They provide clear and authoritative information on Kentucky's government and explain significant trends and patterns, exploring the legacy of the state's political history and illuminating the contributions of influential Kentucky politicians such as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis.
The contributors also address essential topics such as the structure and function of the three branches of government, the constitution, and federalism and intergovernmental relations, as well as administration, budgeting, and finance. They analyze key issues in education policy, economic and community development, and health care in great detail, explaining persistently controversial topics such as campaign finance, the cost of elections, ethics, and the oversight of regulatory agencies. From the executive branch to the legislature, from the court system to political parties, there is no better primer on government in the commonwealth.
Homespun Ghost Stories and Unexplained History
More than evoking chills down the spine and cautious glances over one's shoulder, spooky stories create lasting bonds and memories between friends and family. The tradition of storytelling ties generations together with exciting new tales and familiar folklore that has sparked superstitions and legends.
In Kentucky Hauntings: Homespun Ghost Stories and Unexplained History, beloved storytellers Roberta Simpson Brown and Lonnie E. Brown present a thrilling collection of paranormal tales that will appeal to anyone looking for a friendly scare. Weaving together factual accounts of unexplained events, peculiar headlines, and local legends passed down from a time when most homes lacked electricity, Kentucky Hauntings combines stories with commentary on historic customs. From "telling the bees" about a death in the family, to a friendly "fool's errand" practical joke gone horribly wrong, and from terrifying haunted houses to the lifesaving "Bathtub Ghost," readers are transported to a world of age-old superstitions and paranormal experiences. Whether shared around the fire on a crisp autumn night or whispered in a huddle of close friends at a summer sleepover, these eerie stories will thrill and excite anyone who loves a good scare.
Judge Mac Swinford was one of the longest-serving federal judges in United States history. During his lengthy tenure in the Kentucky courts, he came to know and appreciate the deep complexity of the law, understanding that it could be solid and fluid, broad and narrow, kind and harsh, changeless yet always evolving. In this service to the state and to the law, he felt that it was often his fellow lawyers who touched and educated him most. Kentucky Lawyer presents the most humorous, enlightening, and poignant moments of a remarkable fifty-year career. Judge Swinford offers a unique Kentucky history, recounting instances of the drama and romance of the Kentucky bar. In “A Kentucky Ghost Story,” he takes readers to the banks of Crooked Creek in Harrison County, where the spirit of a wrongfully accused man still affects judicial decisions. “Cost of Love” recalls a trial in Carlisle County in which a scorned lover files suit against her ex-fiancé for breach of promise, claiming ten thousand dollars for a broken heart. Remembering some of Kentucky’s most revered and respected jurists, Judge Swinford relates American culture in its most intimate and significant sense, through the acts and expressions of local leaders in the everyday affairs of life. His stories of humble commitment highlight the lives of men such as Henry Clay, Lieutenant Governor Rodes K. Myers, and Senator Joe C.S. Blackburn, who championed unpopular cases and stood on the forefront of government and community affairs. Kentucky Lawyer pays tribute to some of Kentucky’s “truly great men,” with the hope that legend will preserve them for us in memory. Now back in print, this classic book illuminates the varied work and world of the twentieth-century lawyer with elegance and humor.
" From the wealth of place names in Kentucky, Rennick has selected those of some 2,000 communities and post offices. These places are usually the largest, the best known, or the most important as well as those with unusual or inherently interesting names. Including perhaps one-fourth of all such places known in the state, the names were chosen as a representative sample among Kentucky's counties and sections. Kentucky Place Names offers a fascinating mosaic of information on families, events, politics, and local lore in the state. It will interest all Kentuckians as well as the growing number of scholars of American place names.
Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War
Kentucky’s first settlers brought with them a dedication to democracy and a sense of limitless hope about the future. Determined to participate in world progress in science, education, and manufacturing, Kentuckians wanted to make the United States a great nation. They strongly supported the War of 1812, and Kentucky emerged as a model of patriotism and military spirit. Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War offers a new synthesis of the sixty years before the Civil War. James A. Ramage and Andrea S. Watkins explore this crucial but often overlooked period, finding that the early years of statehood were an era of great optimism and progress. Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Ramage and Watkins demonstrate that the eyes of the nation often focused on Kentucky, which was perceived as a leader among the states before the Civil War. Globally oriented Kentuckians were determined to transform the frontier into a network of communities exporting to the world market and dedicated to the new republic. Kentucky Rising offers a valuable new perspective on the eras of slavery and the Civil War. This book is a copublication with the Kentucky Historical Society.
Kent Hollingsworth captures the flavor and atmosphere of the Sport of Kings in the dramatic account of the development of the Thoroughbred in Kentucky. Ranging from frontier days, when racing was conducted in open fields as horse-to-horse challenges between proud owners, to the present, when a potential Triple Crown champion may sell for millions of dollars, The Kentucky Thoroughbred considers ten outstanding stallions that dominated the shape of racing in their time as representing the many eras of Kentucky Thoroughbred breeding. No less colorful are his accounts of the owners, breeders, trainers, and jockeys associated with these Thoroughbreds, a group devoted to a sport filled with high adventure and great hazards. First published in 1976, this popular Kentucky classic has been expanded and brought up to date in this new edition.
A Novel of the American Revolution
A gripping portrait of life in the hard-bitten wilderness of Revolutionary Kentucky, Harriette Simpson Arnow’s The Kentucky Trace follows surveyor William David Leslie Collins as he struggles to survive. Collins finds his fellow settlers to be almost as inscrutable as the weather—at times, they are allies, and at others, they are adversaries. Collins battles nature, bad luck, and the quickly shifting political tides to make his way in a changing world. Showcasing Arnow’s ear for dialogue and offering a wealth of historical detail, The Kentucky Trace is a masterful work of fiction by a preeminent Appalachian writer.