Up from These Hills

Up from These Hills

Memories of a Cherokee Boyhood

Leonard Carson Lambert Jr.
As told to Michael Lambert

Indians of the Southeast Series

240 pages
1 genealogy

Paperback

October 2011

978-0-8032-3536-6

$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Born into a storied but impoverished family on the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Leonard Carson Lambert Jr.’s candid memoir is a remarkable story and an equally remarkable flouting of the stereotypes that so many tales of American Indian life have engendered.

Up from These Hills provides a grounded, yet poignant, description of what it was like to grow up during the 1930s and 1940s in the mountains of western North Carolina and on a sharecropper’s farm in eastern Tennessee. Lambert straightforwardly describes his independent, hardworking, and stubborn parents; his colorful extended family; his eighth-grade teacher, who recognized his potential and first planted the idea that he might attend college; as well as siblings, schoolmates, and others who shaped his life. He paints a vivid picture of life on the reservation and off, documenting work, family life, education, religion, and more. Up from These Hills also tells the true story of how this family rose from depression-era poverty, a story rarely told about Indian families. With its utterly unique voice, this vivid memoir evokes an unknown yet important part of the American experience, even as it reveals the realities behind Indian experience and rural poverty in the first half of the twentieth century.

Author Bio

Leonard Carson Lambert Jr. grew up on and around the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee during the 1930s and 1940s. He earned his engineering degree at North Carolina State College and worked for Alcoa throughout the world. Michael Lambert earned his doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University and is currently associate professor of anthropology and African studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Praise

"Lambert's book is clearly written and thought-provoking. If you are interested in Native American culture, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book and hear a different voice."—Greg Langley, The Advocate

"Anyone interested in general American Indian, Cherokee, and southern culture and history should be encouraged to read Up from These Hills, which would be a good addition to any public or academic library east of the Mississippi River."—Joanna Anderson, Tennessee Library Association

Table of Contents

Series Preface
Forethoughts by Michael Lambert
Smith-Lambert Family Genealogy
Roots
The Cove
Tennessee
Mentor School
Mars Hill
Going Home
Notes

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