cover image of The WPA Guide to West Virginia

The WPA Guide to West Virginia

The Mountain State

by Federal Writers' Project


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During the 1930s in the United States, the Works Progress Administration developed the Federal Writers' Project to support writers and artists while making a national effort to document the country's shared history and culture. The American Guide series consists of individual guides to each of the states. Little-known authors—many of whom would later become celebrated literary figures—were commissioned to write these important books. John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison are among the more than 6,000 writers, editors, historians, and researchers who documented this celebration of local histories. Photographs, drawings, driving tours, detailed descriptions of towns, and rich cultural details exhibit each state's unique flavor.
The beautiful landscape as well as the significant role of the coal mining industry are both detailed in the WPA Guide to West Virginia. The essay “Country Folk and Country Ways" gives the reader an idea of how rural life was in the Mountain State in the early 20th century and the descriptions of Charleston, Clarksburg, and other cities are complete with stunning photographs of classic Southern architecture.

Publication Details

Trinity University Press
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The WPA Guide to West Virginia
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