5/14 - An Author Event feat. Luke Manget

Mail_8 Mon, 04/25/2022 - 4:06pm

Union Ave Books is excited to bring you Luke Manget and his book Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia.

Please register for this free event here.

About the Author:

Luke Manget is an assistant professor of history at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. He is a contributor to Southern Communities: Identity, Conflict, and Memory in the Nineteenth-Century American South, edited by Steven E. Nash and Bruce E. Stewart. Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia is his first book. Learn more: thesouthernhighlander.org.


About the Book:

The harvesting of wild American ginseng, the gnarled, aromatic herb known for its therapeutic and healing properties, has played an especially vital role in the southern and central Appalachian Mountains. 

Traded through a trans-Pacific network that connected the region to East Asian markets, ginseng was one of several medicinal Appalachian plants that entered international webs of exchange. As the production of patent medicines and botanical pharmaceutical products escalated in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, southern Appalachia emerged as the United States’ most prolific supplier of many species of medicinal plants. The region achieved this distinction because of its biodiversity and the persistence of certain common rights that guaranteed widespread access to the forested mountain sides, regardless of who owned the land.

Following the Civil War, root digging and herb gathering became one of the most important ways landless families and small farmers earned income from the forest commons. This boom influenced class relations, gender roles, forest use, and outside perceptions of Appalachia and began a widespread renegotiation of common rights that eventually curtailed access to ginseng and other plants.

Based on extensive research into the business records of mountain entrepreneurs, country stores, and pharmaceutical companies, Ginseng Diggers is the first book to unearth the unique relationship between Appalachia and the global trade of medicinal plants.

Praise for Ginseng Diggers:

“A fascinating glimpse at the evolution of ginseng culture in Appalachia and its connection to the national economy and society.” —Ronald D. Eller, Uneven Ground: Appalachia Since 1945



This event will be held at Mast General Store at 402 S Gay St.

You can preorder your copy below or purchase one at the event. 

Event date: 
Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
402 S Gay St
Knoxville, TN 37902
Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813183817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University Press of Kentucky - March 8th, 2022