National Review has a new article on poor White Southerners in Greater Appalachia:
“Owsley County, Ky. – There are lots of diversions in the Big White Ghetto, the vast moribund matrix of Wonder Bread–hued Appalachian towns and villages stretching from northern Mississippi to southern New York, a slowly dissipating nebula of poverty and misery with its heart in eastern Kentucky, the last redoubt of the Scots-Irish working class that picked up where African slave labor left off, mining and cropping and sawing the raw materials for a modern American economy that would soon run out of profitable uses for the class of people who 500 years ago would have been known, without any derogation, as peasants. …
There’s a great deal of drug use, welfare fraud, and the like, but the overall crime rate throughout Appalachia is about two-thirds the national average, and the rate of violent crime is half the national average, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. …”
Note: A year ago, I had planned to research the cultural origins of the Upper South, but I never got around to following through on that project, much less writing my book about the destruction of the plantation system in the Lower South. That’s something that I will start working on again this year.