A Few Questions on American Violence and American Tastes after “Hatfields & McCoys”

The popularity of History’s new miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, and, as a result, the popularity of books that deal with the history of the feuding families, raises some interesting questions about Americans’ changing tastes. Who would have thought a three-part, made-for-TV movie about the hostilities between two families living in rural Appalachia after the Civil War would become the highest-rated non-sports telecast in cable history? What does it say about American tastes that we are equally enamored with a book series that features a yearly fight-to-the-death of 12-18 year-old kids (The Hunger Games); the protagonist of which comes from an imagined post-apocalyptic Appalachia. How many Americans who watched Hatfields & McCoys also love Justified or Deadwood? And in a region that is usually decried for its violent history, the publicity surrounding History’s miniseries has been largely positive. Regardless of its violent themes, the fact remains that Hatfields & McCoys has captivated a broad audience hungry for the true story behind the most famous family feud in America.

 Now that the miniseries has concluded, learn more about the real story of the Hatfield and McCoy families. Order a copy of Otis K. Rice’s The Hatfields and the McCoys from your favorite bookseller, or register below to be eligible to win one of 3 copies of the book!

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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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