I'm looking forward to the upcoming PBS special on the history of Appalachia. (Check your local listings for dates and times). Though I believe the film will have lots of environmentalist dogma-preaching in it, I think it will still be worth watching.
I'm especially interested in part 3:
"A rich agrarian society is torn asunder by the cataclysm of the Civil War. 'The race for the prize is on,' wrote Harper’s Magazine in 1872 as railroads pushed ever further into the mountains. Speculators spread through every timber rich and mineral infused hollow, making deals. The third hour of the series will tell the story of the region as it confronts this strange new industrial age."
For those interested, I'd also recommend:
History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story