“While the subtitle suggests an emphasis on a neighborhood, this book is really a family history about people for whom place is important. Setting his book in both Kentucky and Missouri, historian Rader (emer., Univ. of Nebraska) recounts details such as the businesses, marriages, and military service of his extended family across generations. These were people for whom scraping together a livelihood in the hollers of remote areas was a lifelong pursuit. Rader supports his story with sources that include local newspapers and oral histories, but there are too many inferences and guesses to make firm conclusions about the actions or emotions of those involved. Readers interested in learning more about these areas will benefit, but there is not enough footing in facts to help those seeking to learn about the personal intricacies of rural life on marginal farmland, nor are there clear explanations for why families migrated from one isolated area to another. The book is well situated in the Ozarks studies series, where scholars looking for content about family relations and industry will enjoy the anecdotes.”

—M. E. Birk, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Choice, 2017

Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.