Kentucky Notebook: What’s worth reading online

The World Wide Web is a gold mine for news and information junkies. The more I look, the more I find fascinating “content” that helps me understand the world and our little corner of it.

Today I’m beginning an occasional series of blog posts called Kentucky Notebook. I call it occasional, because I’ll do it whenever I find time and material worth calling to your attention. I call it Kentucky Notebook, because it will highlight online content relating to our state, people and culture. If you see articles worth highlighting, post a comment or send me an email.

Ron Eller, a University of Kentucky history professor who specializes in Appalachia, has a perceptive essay about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Appalachian voters. It was written before Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory over Obama in Tuesday’s Kentucky primary, but it helps explain why Obama received minuscule support in some Eastern Kentucky counties. The essay is accompanied by photos of Letcher County taken by photographer Andrew Stern this year and a half-century ago.

Eller’s essay also is a good excuse to highlight the online publication in which it appears. The Daily Yonder focuses on news and commentary about rural America. It is edited by two Kentuckians: Bill Bishop, a former Herald-Leader editorial columnist, and his wife, Julie Ardery. They now live in Austin, Texas. Bishop is also the author of a new book, The Big Sort: Why the clustering of like-minded America is tearing us apart. It was reviewed Sunday in The New York Times.

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