Beneath the façade of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a hidden history. For fifteen years Sue Eisenfeld hiked Shenandoah National Park in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, unaware of the tragic history behind the creation of the park. In this first-person travel journey through the lost communities, she tells the story of her on-the-ground discovery of the relics and memories a few thousand mountain residents left behind when the government used eminent domain to kick them off their land to create the national park.
"Eisenfeld writes about Shenandoah the way Annie Proulx writes about Wyoming or Edward Abbey about the deserts of the Southwest: pristine, unsentimental, eloquent prose." --Kirkus Reviews Read complete review
"Eisenfeld's endeavor to realize the human spirit is triumphant." --Blue Lyra Review Read complete review
"[Shenandoah is a] richly textured look at the human drama of creating one of the jewels of the national park system." - Foreword Reviews Read complete review
“Shenandoah is a beautifully written portrait of a history-haunted landscape: wistful, wild, and enchanting, like the best of autumn hikes through Shenandoah National Park." --Tony Horwitz, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
"The juxtaposition of delight with the land and the haunting of its history is beautifully written, giving us the feel of the park and the lure of knowing its past." --Katrina M. Powell, author of The Anguish of Displacement: The Politics of Literacy in the Letters of Mountain Families in Shenandoah National Park.
“Shenandoah is Eisenfeld’s simple love song to the Park...and to those feisty mountaineers who did not go gently when told they would have to leave..." --Cynthia Berryman, "We're All Relative" Read complete review
“Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal...beautifully captures the mountain people and the official vendetta that made them refugees from their own land." --James Bovard, The Washington Times Read complete review
"Anyone with an interest in national parks or the history of the state of Virginia or travelers to Shenandoah or Skyline Drive will appreciate this book.--Library Journal Read complete review
"Poignant...Ms. Eisenfeld’s book won't let us forget those who were uprooted here." --National Parks Traveler Read complete review
"As a piece of personal journalism, this slim volume works well... and it’s an important story to tell." --Real Change Read complete review
"A moving masterpiece."
"Heartbreaking and uplifting."
"Ended up reading this book at a record pace...Couldn't put it down."
“You get it. You understand what few people do--the profound connection to lives gone before us that draws some of us to seek out the forgotten pathways and stand in old homesteads and cemeteries where human beings from generations past worked the land, and stood and grieved the passing of their loved ones; to connect with the emotions that make us human and that cross all perceived boundaries of time."
"A beautifully written book by a talented author. You need not be an outdoors-person or Shenandoah visitor to reap the rewards of this fascinating book; it's a tale that all Americans should experience. Enthralling, eye-opening, and a true page-turner."
"Anyone who reads this book will experience the park in a whole new way. I know whenever I go there I feel the love my ancestors and all the mountain people had for their homes and through your book, I think everyone who reads it will feel it. I think you elevate the people from drunken, dumb, illiterate hillbillies to a loving, hardworking, in-a-class-by-themselves culture."
"I salute your effort to tie in the current park contrasted with the neglected past. Well done!"
"'Shenandoah' was a perfect mix for me: history of the big picture, nature, and history on an individual nature--the best part...I always want to know how a particular part or event in history affected people, but usually that component of the story is ignored. It stimulated my mind, sending me to Google many things; yes, even bear fecal plugs. This book taught me a lot and I enjoyed the experience."
"Hiking and history--a magical combination comes alive."
"Author and 'explorer' Sue Eisenfeld has written a worthy addition to the canon of literature about the creation and evolution of Shenandoah National Park."
Copyright Sue Eisenfeld 2013-2019. All rights reserved.