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The Hatfields and the McCoys by Otis K. Rice

The Hatfields and the McCoys

by Otis K. Rice

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Fascinating look at the family feud to end all feuds! This is a history, written and published by an academic publisher so it is well researched and tries very hard to show all sides of the issues.

No side is given a pass, both families are shown to have a lot of blame for engaging in the battle. Rice read a lot of books, newspapers, transcripts and court records to try and separate the truth from all the fantasy that surrounds the whole lore of "The Feud".

I had a bit of a tough time getting through the whole explanation of the various trials and keeping track of the familial relationships would have been impossible without the two family trees on the end piece.

If you like history and don't know a lot about the famous family feud, give this a try. It isn't terribly long and show sympathy for both sides and the various members of the families who died. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |

Admittedly, my only prior knowledge of the infamous feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys came from popular culture (does anyone remember that Bugs Bunny episode? Anyone?) so I guess it was good to hear the facts behind the feud. And this book was...very factual. Okay, it was dry and dull. I don't know, I guess I was just expecting something more exciting or engaging. Dick Hill did his best to bring life to the audiobook and his narration was very good, but the source material made it feel like a lecture series. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think of the Hatfields and the McCoys as some of the most colourful characters in American history so I suppose I was expecting a more colourful telling of their tale. I haven't read the print edition, though, and I've heard that it includes lots of illustrations that add to the story. This might be a book best enjoyed by true history buffs or people trying to sort out the fact from the fiction, as opposed to those--like myself--who were hoping for a more exciting version of the famous events (of which there is no shortage, Bugs Bunny aside).

For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this audiobook free from Tantor Audio, through Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own. ( )
  CozyBookJournal | Oct 8, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813114594, Hardcover)

The Hatfield-McCoy feud has long been the most famous vendetta of the southern Appalachians. Over the years it has become encrusted with myth and error. Scores of writers have produced accounts of it, but few have made any real effort to separate fact from fiction. Novelists, motion picture producers, television script writers, and others have sensationalized events that needed no embellishment.

Using court records, public documents, official correspondence, and other documentary evident, Otis K. Rice presents an account that frees, as much as possible, fact from fiction, event from legend. He weighs the evidence carefully, avoiding the partisanship and the attitude of condescension and condemnation that have characterized many of the writings concerning the feud.

He sets the feud in the social, political, economic, and cultural context of eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By examining the legacy of the Civil War, the weakness of institutions such as the church and education system, the exaggerated importance of family, the impotence of the law, and the isolation of the mountain folk, Rice gives new meaning to the origins and progress of the feud. These conditions help explain why the Hatfield and McCoy families, which have produced so many fine citizens, could engage in such a bitter and prolonged vendetta

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:00 -0400)

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