Context behind and origin of the 1971 land ownership study

John Gaventa delineates the context and probing question behind his earliest research into land ownership in Appalachia, as proposed in collaboration with Bill Dow: why are some of the wealthiest, natural resource-rich counties in East Tennessee also the poorest (in terms of overall living conditions and with regard to funding for public services, such as healthcare and education)? He explains that while most people informally knew much of the land was owned by large, often absentee corporations (and had been since the region was industrialized for coal extraction in the 1890s), no data was yet documented in a systematic way. Follow this link for access to the full-length interview.

Recorded October 2021.