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“Different from other works on Dollywood, Hoppe’s volume is neither a tour guide nor a Parton biography—readers looking for such will be disappointed. Instead, he deftly examines the culture of Appalachia, specifically in East Tennessee, how it fits in with the greater Southern story (or not), and how all of this together with Parton’s genuineness overflow into Dollywood, creating an attraction that makes thousands of people a year feel at home whether they are from the South or not.”
Library Journal


“Hoppe, a North Carolina resident and graduate of UNC’s folklore program, takes a look at how Dolly Parton’s talent and celebrity have allowed her to turn her hometown into one of the most popular tourist destinations in America. The crux of Dollywood’s allure is its precisely calibrated Appalachian image, itself drawn from Parton’s very real hardscrabble childhood in the mountains of east Tennessee.”
The Herald Dispatch, Huntington, WV


“Though political sensitivity might be harder to spot in Pigeon Forge, Hoppe does a masterful job of tracing the political trickle-down, asking hard questions about politics, consumerism and modern Southern identity.”
The Knoxville News Sentinel, TN


“I similarly jumped at the chance to review “Gone Dollywood” and hoped it would not be another academic expose on exploitation in Appalachia. Thankfully, this book is about the ways Dolly’s rags-to-riches musical career and folksy, ultra-feminine persona made her an overwhelmingly positive force in her hometown and beyond….The abundance of Dolly one-liners and storytelling gems make this book the perfect accompaniment to your next trip to Dollywood or gift for the Dolly devotee in your life.”
Citizen Times, Asheville, NC


“Anyone with a vested interest in Appalachian culture and how it manifests in Dollywood and in Dolly Parton’s life will find Hoppe’s book a pleasure to read.”
ImagiNERDing


Gone Dollywood is a landmark study. Graham Hoppe eloquently explains why Dollywood draws thousands of visitors each year and captures East Tennessee worlds in significant ways. This fine book, like Dolly Parton, will touch the heart of its readers.”
—William Ferris, author of The South in Color: A Visual Journal

“Presents a powerful critique of the concept of authenticity … Graham Hoppe’s Gone Dollywood places Dolly Parton’s theme park, persona, and career within a broader history of the collisions of fact and fantasy, folk and celebrity, and art and commerce that have buffeted the Tennessee mountains Dolly calls home. Like Parton herself, the book is disarmingly open and friendly on its surface, with an impressive core of smart and savvy.”
—Jason Mellard, author of Progressive Country: How the 1970s Transformed the Texan in Popular Culture

“With an engaging and singular voice, Hoppe shows us just how Dollywood reflects, shapes, and challenges stereotypes of Appalachia, hillbillies, and country music, leading readers to understand Dollywood as an indispensable point of departure for broader conversations about gender, race, and class.”
—Jessie Swigger, author of “History is Bunk”:Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village