Through the Mountains gives us fresh perspectives on the natural and cultural history of the French Broad River watershed in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.  As John E. Ross leads us through centuries of human habitation in the watershed, a clear theme emerges: the ongoing tension between economic development and environmental preservation, and the need for humankind to discover – or reclaim – sustainable ways of living within our natural world.

  • Jim Stokely, son of Wilma Dykeman author of The French Broad and the catalyst for conservation of the watershed today

Other praise for Through the Mountains: The French Broad River and Time 

John E. Ross has given us a valued lens to the meandering lifespan of one of our storied rivers, embraced by the ancient Appalachian Mountains. It is a welcome contemporary companion to Wilma Dykeman’s iconic The French Broad in weaving the interconnectivity of land, water and unfolding human habitation. In a larger sense, Through the Mountains is a universal chronicle of the abiding promise and peril of our nation’s vast network of rivers.

  • Doug Orr, Co-Author, Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, Co-Editor, The North Carolina Atlas: Portrait for a New Century

John E. Ross has produced a fascinating and well documented book incorporating current trends and research with a view to the past and the future of the French Broad watershed.  Along with Wilma Dykeman’s 1955 book on the French Broad, Through the Mountains…is a must read for those of us who live in and love this region.

  • Jefferson Chapman, Director Emeritus, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

Through the Mountains… is a finalist for the 2022 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award

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