Author: Ronald A. Foresta
Author info: Professor of Geography
Publication Date: October 2013
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Synopsis: Between Barkley and Kentucky Lakes—two great, artificial bodies of water in western Tennessee and western Kentucky—lies a wooded land that looks from above like the flattened thumb of a green giant. Once a land of marginal farms and small settlements, this 240-square-mile peninsula, known as the Land Between the Lakes, has been a national recreation area for the last half-century. Its rolling, wooded hills and open bottomlands give the place charm but little majesty. The place swallows up its few campgrounds and the visitors they attract, creating a vacuous tranquility. Foresta explores how this forgotten and bypassed region became a national recreation area. He uses its history to retrieve our old attitudes toward nature, progress, and personal development. He also uses its history to retrieve a vision of the future that rallied idealists, intellectuals, and even public officials to its banner.