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.
James C. Klotter is the author, coauthor, or editor of some twenty books, including texts used for Kentucky history classes at the elementary, secondary, and college level. Among his works are Henry Clay: The Man Who Would Be President; Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood; and Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900-1950. The past executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society, he is professor emeritus of Georgetown College and the State Historian of Kentucky.
Craig Thompson Friend is the author of Kentucke's Frontiers and Along the Maysville Road: The Early Republic in the Trans-Appalachian West, and editor of The Buzzel about Kentuck: Settling the Promised Land. He is professor of history at North Carolina State University.