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The first comprehensive history of the state since the publication of Thomas D. Clark's landmark History of Kentucky over sixty years ago. A New History of Kentucky brings the Commonwealth to life, from Pikeville to the Purchase, from Covington to Corbin, this account reveals Kentucky's many faces and deep traditions.

Lowell Harrison, professor emeritus of history at Western Kentucky University, is the author of many books, including George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, The Civil War in Kentucky, Kentucky's Road to Statehood , Lincoln of Kentucky, and Kentucky's Governors.

James C. Klotter, the state historian of Kentucky and professor of history at Georgetown College, is the author, coauthor, or editor of many books, including The Breckinridges of Kentucky: 1760-1981, History Mysteries, Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox 1900-1950, A New History of Kentucky, Kentucky: Decades of Discord, 1865-1900, Kentucky: Land of Tomorrow, Our Kentucky: A Study of the Bluegrass State, Public Papers of Governor Simeon Willis, 1943-1947, and William Goebel: The Politics of Wrath.

"Making sense of these elements in both the regional and national settings is the challenge of state history, and one gallantly essayed by this book. The authors divide the labor and do differ from each other in their interests." -- Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"This well-written and judiciously illustrated history does not read like a normal historical work. A New History of Kentucky provides an enjoyable sojourn through Kentucky without the driving expense." -- Bowling Green Daily News

Harrison and Klotter have . . . established a model for other state histories. -- Indiana Magazine of History

The writing is clear, crisp, and exciting. . . . The arrangement and topic selection throughout is especially good. Everything from county politics to music is treated with an eye for topical conciseness and uniform, lyrical, precision. -- Journal of American History

Will be 'the book' to read about Kentucky for many years to come by the general reader and scholar alike. -- Journal of Southern History

"It deserves to be called our state's new definitive history. Best of all, its readable style will please the broad general audience of citizens and students for whom this book is intended." -- Lexington Herald Leader

"An invaluable guide to the forces that have shaped the state's history and the patterns in that history that will well serve the needs of those who, in the new century and in the new millennium, recognize the truth in the words 'the past is prologue." -- Louisville Courier Journal

"The authors pay much attention to detail without overwhelming their readers in minutiae. They invite one to experience and appreciate the Commonwealth and share their passion for its history. The honest, clear accounts describe a story that is rich, and brilliant, as well as sinister." -- Northern Kentucky Heritage

"This book reveals what the writing of state history can be. I wish Ohio had a history like this one." -- Ohio History

"The people of Kentucky (and all persons interested in the Bluegrass state) now have a 'new history' that incorporates the findings of the last generation of historical research and writing." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"A work that is both enjoyable and utilitarian; something not always achieved in works of this kind. . . From the earliest settlers to the recent reforms in Kentucky government and education, topics are arranged to both inform and enlighten the reader about the nature of the Commonwealth's history." -- Southern Historian

"The book is a welcome synthesis of old and new research on the region, especially in political and economic history." -- The Filson Club Historical Quarterly

“This book is a useful guide in a convenient and well-written format.” -- John Hennen -- Ohio History

“Students would love this information to be presented in the classroom. Trivia buffs should love the variety of factoids to be gleaned. Kentuckians and those whose family pedigree includes ancestors from the state will take pride in the work. The history of Kentucky is interesting and intriguing. The Klotters have ensured their book is the same.” -- Linda Lee -- Armchair Interviews

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Kentucky, History


United States History

A New History of Kentucky
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