In Down on Mahans Creek, Benjamin Rader provides a fascinating look at a neighborhood in the Missouri Ozarks from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. He explores the many ways in which Mahans Creek, though remote, was never completely isolated or self-sufficient. The residents were deeply affected by the Civil War, and the arrival of the railroad and the timber boom in the 1890s propelled the community into modern times, creating a more fast-paced and consumer-oriented way of life and a new moral sensibility. During the Great Depression the creek’s residents returned to some of the older values for survival. After World War II, modern technology changed their lives again, causing a movement away from the countryside and to the nearby small towns.
Down on Mahans Creek tells the dynamic story of this distinctive neighborhood navigating the push and pull of the old and new ways of life.
About the author
Benjamin G. Rader is James L. Sellers Professor of History emeritus at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and the author of five books. He was born and raised in the Mahans Creek neighborhood and today lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“A valuable contribution to the burgeoning field of Ozarks studies, one that presents a very American story of the backcountry but one leavened with the unique physiography of one of the region’s most rugged and remote places. This will be an excellent first volume in the Ozarks Studies series.”
—Lynn Morrow, editor of The Ozarks in Missouri History: Discoveries in an American Region
“As someone who grew up near and returned to the Mahans Creek neighborhood, I can say that Ben Rader knows what he is talking about when it comes to the hollers people.”
—Thomas Akers, retired NASA astronaut
The Ozarks Studies series acknowledges the awakening of a scholarly Ozarks studies movement—one that crosses disciplinary boundaries as it approaches regional study from a variety of vantage points—and positions the University of Arkansas Press as the publisher at the forefront of the movement. As the only university press headquartered within the Ozarks region and as a press with a solid background in the publication of books on the region—Rafferty’s The Ozarks, Land and Life, Morrow’s Shepherd of the Hills Country, Harper’s White Man’s Heaven, Sizemore’s Ozark Vernacular Houses, and many more—the University of Arkansas Press is ideally suited for the first series that will level a scholarly eye on the Ozarks and Ozarkers.