Mississippi's Piney Woods: A Human Perspective edited by Noel Polk with essays by Harold K. Steen, John H. Napier III, Terry G. Jordan, Grady McWhiney, Thomas D. Clark, Nollie W. Hickman, James C. Downey, W. Kenneth Holditch, Thomas L. McHaney, William F. Winter, Warren A. Flick, Milton B. Newton, Jr., Sidney McDaniel, and Noel Polk. For years the Mississippi Piney Woods region has gone virtually untouched by historians, though J. F. H. Claiborne and James Street have made wonderful use of its colorful and significant past. Only Nollie Hickman's Mississippi Harvest has attempted to examine in full any aspect of the area's history and culture in his study focusing on the area's important lumber industry. This book, Mississippi's Piney Woods: A Human Perspective, the papers from the first Crosby Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Southern Mississippi, is a groundbreaking volume in Mississippi studies in that it is an attempt to open the Piney Woods to historical and cultural scrutiny, and it is one of the first volumes on the subject of Mississippi history to approach any area of the state from so many diverse but complementary scholarly disciplines. Among the topics explored by first-rate scholars are the area's geography, its pioneer settlers' roots in Europe, its lumber industry, its politics, its music, its economics, and its literature. As a whole, the volume demonstrates the ways in which each of these topics and approaches intersects with and impinges upon the others, and thus suggests the ways in which the life of any region is determined not by any single force, even when that force is in some ways overwhelming, but by a complex and subtle intermingling of a variety of vital forces which exert pressures on the life of the individual from many different sources. This volume undertakes to explore these diverse forces, and thus to show how they converge and interact to shape the lives of human beings in any age and region. Noel Polk is Professor Emeritus of English at Mississippi State University and the editor of The Mississippi Quarterly.