Super-Scenic Motorway

A Blue Ridge Parkway History

By Anne Mitchell Whisnant

464 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 51 illus., 7 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7126-3
    Published: March 2010
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-9842-0
    Published: October 2006

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit
The most visited site in the National Park system, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway winds along the ridges of the Appalachian mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. According to most accounts, the Parkway was a New Deal "Godsend for the needy," built without conflict or opposition by landscape architects and planners who traced their vision along a scenic, isolated southern landscape. The historical archives relating to this massive public project, however, tell a different and much more complicated story, which Anne Mitchell Whisnant relates in this revealing history of the beloved roadway.

About the Author

Anne Mitchell Whisnant received her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is now Director of Research, Communications, and Programs for the Office of Faculty Governance. She has served as a consultant to the National Park Service and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. More information about the book is available online at
For more information about Anne Mitchell Whisnant, visit the Author Page.


"Elegantly reveals the Parkway's history. . . . Decidedly revisionist . . . presents a more complex history of the road. . . . Whisnant's engagingly written and carefully researched account brings to light a more accurate picture of how the Blue Ridge Parkway came to be while taking nothing away from the . . . site."--Appalachian Journal

"[A] lucid analysis. . . . [Whisnant's] work provides vital lessons on historic and environmental preservation."--The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

"The deliberate, scholarly work promises, in the author's words, to 'take us from a place many think they understand to one few would recognize, along a Blue Ridge Parkway almost no one knows.' Strap in and hold tight." --Mountain Xpress

"By sifting through various myths and facts, Whisnant reveals the truth behind the Parkway's seemingly undisturbed serene beauty."--Sanford Herald

"Exhaustively researched…fascinating"--Rocky Mount Telegram

"Whisnant brings the true parkway to light in a skillful demonstration of the historian's craft at the highest level of excellence--thoroughly researched, especially well documented and presented. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice