As an historian, I’m struck by the emphasis this documentary places on non-humans – be it animals, plants, soil, or mountains – although as a native of Appalachia, that doesn’t surprise me. The film is billed as “America’s first environmental history series: and as such, it gives us a bold, unique template of how to talk holistically about the concept of place and the specific place of Appalachia. While it may be particularly prescient to talk about the broader concept of place through ecology and other facets when analyzing the history of Appalachia, surely it is no less important when talking about almost any region of the globe, given that even cityscapes have a history of wilderness alongside native inhabitants and the complexities of how growth affected both the natural and human environments of that place (such as Nature's Metropolis, William Cronon's study of Chicago.)

Document Type

Film Review

Publication Date

Winter 2011

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 Appalachian State University. This article first appeared in Appalachian Journal 38, no. 2/3 (Winter 2011): 256-59.

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