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Kudzu on the Ivory Tower

From the Backwoods to an Academic Career

in the Deep, Deep South

August 2021

List Price: $22.95 PB

268 pages, full color text


Educated meets Dispatches from Pluto, but with more explosions. The story of an unlikely journey from a poverty-stricken upbringing in the Mississippi backwoods to a career in academic archaeology. Along the way one encounters homemade cannons, untethered nuclear bombs, zombie cheeseburgers, country music sycophants, demonic rodents, screaming wood, mechanical butts, grease sandwiches, ancient artifacts, and the deleterious consequences of racist thinking. Ultimately a story of love, family, and the redemptive power of education, Kudzu on the Ivory Tower is "a mélange of Franklin's Autobiography, Rousseau's Confessions, Chateaubriand's Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

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About The Author


Evan Peacock was born in the Delta and reared in the backwoods hill country of north-central Mississippi, where as often as not he could be found on a creekbank with a cane fishing pole in his hands. Creek fishing not being an especially lucrative enterprise, he followed a stint in the military with a succession of blue-collar jobs, most of which included manual labor, a strong inducement to pursue a college education. Evan obtained a B.A. degree in Anthropology at Mississippi State University (MSU) in 1988 and a M.S. degree in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy at the University of Sheffield, England, in 1990.  Following employment as a professional archaeologist in the private sector and with the U.S. Forest Service, he earned a Ph.D. in Archaeology at Sheffield in 1999, after which he took a faculty position in Anthropology at MSU, whence he retired in 2018. Evan is author of approximately one hundred scholarly works and has written pieces for the public that have appeared in venues such as Mississippi Outdoors, Forest Perspectives, and Hobo Pancakes. His book Mississippi Archaeology Q&A (University Press of Mississippi, 2005) has received wide acclaim. 

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