Review: Don't Go Up Kettle Creek: Verbal Legacy of the Upper Cumberland
Speer, Jean H.
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In Don't Go Up Kettle Creek, Montell reconstructs the history of the Upper Cumberland River region "as it is perceived from the vernacular point of view, relying on personal reminiscences, oral traditions, balladry and song, and printed materials (which were themselves derived from oral history data) as primary sources of information" (p. 1). Although these oral sources provide the substance of the book, Montell corroborates the oral information wherever possible using more standard historical and folkloristic printed resources. Continuing a tradition he has established in his own work, Montell early on sets forth his sources of information, his methodology, his motives, and his philosophy for this study. On all these points, he appears careful in his approach to oral history research and is unusually clear in making his approach known to the reader.