PBS tells the real story behind the Hatfields and McCoys

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

The stereotype of feuding hillbillies shooting at each other across a river for no good reason at all is a powerful one, but the truth is more complicated than the myth. The Feud (Friday 13th, 8.30pm) tells the true story of the most famous family conflict in American history, between the Hatfield and McCoy clans in the remote mountains of central Appalachia in the 1880s.

Eking out a living, Anderson Hatfield’s success, and Randolph McCoy’s envy, would lead to brutal violence and a bloody feud. But these clashing clans also created an enduring image of the Appalachian people as barbarous savages, living in so-called Murderland – an image that was seized on by Eastern capitalists, eager to displace the mountain men and steal their resources.


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