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King of the Moonshiners: Redmond in Fact and Fiction Bruce E. Stewart 0 Reviews The hillbilly hero is an American archetype. Living a hardscrabble life in the mountains of the South, he turns to making moonshine in a homemade still, hidden from the prying eyes of the revenuers--the federal agents who pursue him because he doesn't pay taxes.
In reality a lawbreaker, in our mythology the moonshiner is the hero who fights valiantly to eke out a living while being unfairly dogged by the infernal feds. Developed and embellished through more than a century of American popular culture, this image has put down deep roots in our collective psyche.
King of the Moonshiners shows us how those roots first began to grow. Redmond was an archetypal moonshiner. On March 1, , the twenty-one-year-old North Carolinian shot and killed a U. He then fled to Pickens County, South Carolina, where, within three years, he gained national notoriety as the King of the Moonshiners. More than any other individual moonshiner in southern Appalachia, Redmond captured the imagination of middle-class Americans.
Then, as now, media coverage had a lot to do with his reputation.
This book includes three publications that helped to transform Redmond into a national celebrity. The first is a newspaper interview of Redmond, first published in the Charleston News and Courier in June and subsequently reprinted in newspapers throughout the country.
This sympathetic portrayal made Redmond a household name. The second publication is Edward B. Crittenden's dime novel and fiction it certainly is , which solidified Redmond's reputation as the most dangerous man in southern Appalachia.
The third piece waswritten shortly after Redmond's capture in , allegedly to set the record straight. As Bruce Stewart ably demonstrates, Redmond and his legend were the products of a specific historical moment: Through these original documents, contemporary readers have the opportunity to relive that fascinating time.
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