Like Mason, Bob Hutton grew up reading Snuffy Smith in the pages of his local newspaper. Unlike Mason, Dr. Bob is a history professor at the University of Tennessee who specializes in the American South and Appalachia, which gives him a great perspective on Snuffy’s place in pop culture and how it fits into the broader history of the hillbilly stereotype. This is a fun interview that goes in some unexpected directions.
You can find Bob Hutton on Twitter at @HerecomesDrBob. He’s a great follow, especially if you’re interested in the kinds of topics we cover on Blue Ridge Free State. Make sure to check out his 2013 book, “Bloody Breathitt: Politics and Violence in the Appalachian South,” which is also available as an audiobook at Audible. Hutton also contributed to the recent “Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.” For a taste, go read Dr. Bob’s “Hillbilly Elitism” essay at Jacobin.