The Last Soul of Witherspoon takes a "global" approach in its history of a settlement school in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky known as Witherspoon College. Listeners will find this audiobook to be autobiographical as well as a social history told on three levels.
On one level is a simple story of a person from Long Shoal in Lee County, Kentucky, whose childhood innocence collides head-on with adolescence while a student at Witherspoon. Listeners will find at the end of the story a battle-scarred but still-standing youth, heading off to the next stage in his life, having gained much in the way of character development, and one who "gave as much as he got."
The second level of the story traces four generations of families from the Civil War to the 1950s, including their pedigrees, feuds, and religion. The theme behind this ancestry is to support the premise of "a man's character is his fate," not the other way around.
Also included is a history of Witherspoon College itself, with an emphasis on benefactors from Brooklyn, New York. Listeners may be surprised to learn of the connection between Times Square, the New York subway system, and the famous Underwood typewriter and a small mountain village called Buckhorn, Kentucky. The story here provides a personal contrast of "old-time religion" versus what one writer has termed "denominational imperialism." Religion is referenced a great deal, but this is not a religious audiobook.
©2013 Alex Browning (P)2013 Alex Browning