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Book by WCU’s Sachs probes Kentucky frontier myths, reality

Honor Sachs, assistant professor of history at Western Carolina University, examines frontier myths and realities in her new book “Home Rule: Households, Manhood, and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier.”


Published by Yale University Press and released in October, the book incorporates the stories of women, slaves, orphans and the poor into a history often dominated by male pioneers. Alden Ferro, Yale University Pres publicist, said the historic reality that she documents is of a time and region fraught with political instability, social unrest and economic uncertainty, even as popular culture celebrates brave pioneers like Daniel Boone to this day. Sachs complicates the stories of such popular frontier heroes and explains how western leaders secured the frontier by incorporating ordinary white men into a political culture that celebrated household order and patriarchal authority, he said.

“Home Rule” has been described as an engaging read that explores early American history, gender and societal roles, political science and concepts of citizenship for a not-so-typical take on Southern Appalachian history. Sachs said she argues that ideas about family and household structure helped rebuild and rehabilitate public and private authority in the post-Revolutionary War west.

Honor Sachs

Honor Sachs

Sachs holds a doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been part of the faculty at WCU for three years. She teaches courses on early U.S. history, the American Revolution, slavery and law, and contributes to WCU’s certificate program in public history. She has held fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Filson Historical Society, and was Cassius Marcellus Clay postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.

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Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


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