The final episode explores the 20th century, including the union struggle of the 1920s and the construction of dams by the Tennessee Valley Authority, which altered the landscape and helped many people out of poverty. Included: a fungus that wiped out American chestnut trees in the first half the 1900s; the damage done by strip-mining; the environmental movement.
An examination of the post-Civil War years, when Appalachia was plundered for its timber and coal, and consolidators often used nefarious methods to seize land. Included: how mountaineers were portrayed by writers; how the region changed.
A four-part history of the Appalachians, narrated by Sissy Spacek, begins with the area's plant and animal life, as well as its earliest human inhabitants. Included: why Indians settled in the region; the consequences of Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto's 1540 arrival and search for gold; the attempts of England, France and Spain to ally themselves with the indigenous peoples in early efforts to dominate the continent.