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Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy Hardcover – June 10, 2014


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Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy + Lincoln County (Images of America) + Logan County (Images of America)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing; 1st edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455619183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455619184
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"When two proud families collide in the hills of West Virginia, there will be blood. Brandon Kirk's marvelous tale of one of the bloodiest Appalachian feuds is a rip-roaring page-turner! The mountaineers in this book may at times be funny, mysterious, romantic, and deadly but they are always interesting. In Kirk's sure hands, the reader will be transported back to the hills in an era when no judge and jury was required, just fists, knives, and gun powder. Highly recommended for anyone craving a good spirited read." -- Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys

"Not only does Blood in West Virginia present a compelling narrative of a little known feud in southern West Virginia, it provides valuable insights into the local politics, economy, timber industry and family life in Lincoln County during the late 1800s." -- Dr. Robert Maslowski, President of Council for West Virginia Archaeology, Graduate Instructor at the Marshall University Graduate College

"Kirk's Blood in West Virginia tells a fascinating story that elevates the Lincoln County feud to its proper place in Appalachian and West Virginia History." -- Dr. Ivan Tribe, professor emeritus of history, University of Rio Grande. Author, Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia

"Brandon Kirk's Blood in West Virginia is one of the modern community studies that clearly demonstrates that the Brumfield-McCoy feud was a struggle between rival factions to control the area's economic and political development. Blood in West Virginia is an exciting story well-told." -- Dr. Ronald L. Lewis, Professor Emeritus of History, West Virginia University, and Historian Laureate of West Virginia. Author, Transforming the Appalachian Countryside: Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia, 1880-1920

"This book brings a deadly story to life. Author Brandon Kirk has done remarkable work in untangling the complex web of kinship connections linking both friends and foes, while detailing the social and economic strains of changing times in the mountains. The story he documents in these pages had lasting implications for the families and individuals involved--and, curiously, for the folk music of the region." -- Ken Sullivan, executive director, West Virginia Humanities Council. Editor, West Virginia Encyclopedia

From the Inside Flap

In the small town of Hart in Lincoln County, West Virginia, acres of oak, poplar, walnut, and ash transformed modest farmers into businessmen out for wealth and blood. It was on this stage that an old feud between local clan patriarchs flared anew and the Brumfields delivered a decisive blow to their enemies, setting a bloody precedent for vigilantism and murder that would define the community for more than a half century, even after the feud itself had ended. Enterprising and clever, merchant Al Brumfield worked hard to capitalize on the regional timber boom and provide for his family. However, Brumfield's hard-edged business attitude, as well as his father's long-time quarrel with a neighbor, had garnered him numerous enemies. In September of 1889, someone ambushed and attempted to murder Brumfield and his wife. The Brumfields and their allies stopped at nothing to find the men responsible. Two local men, Milt Haley and Green McCoy, surfaced as the prime suspects. A Brumfield-led gang captured Haley and McCoy and brutally murdered them. The violence was just beginning. In this powerful true story, larger-than-life characters are caught up in vicious acts stoked by personal grievances and economic and social change. Passionate Appalachian historian Brandon Kirk seamlessly weaves oral histories, historical documents, and personal records to present the narrative from each of the main participants' point of view. In this fast-paced, gripping tale, the reader is left to determine who the real villains were. A descendant of feudists from Lincoln County, West Virginia, Brandon Kirk is an avid scholar of Appalachian history. An assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kirk shares his vast knowledge of his ancestors through lectures in the classroom and at historical venues. Through his twenty years of research, he has collected oral histories, music field recordings, photographs, and documents pertaining to his region of Appalachia. He has served as a contributor for the PBS miniseries West Virginia and as a consultant for the History Channel miniseries Hatfields and McCoys. Kirk's diverse career has included working as a university library assistant in special collections; writing for the Lincoln (WV) Journal and Lincoln (WV) Independent; collaborating on writing, musical, and movie projects with the late John Hartford; writing for the Logan (WV) Banner; and teaching advanced placement history classes in Lincoln and Logan County Schools. By governor's appointment, he serves on the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Kirk received his training in social studies education, history, and Appalachian studies at Marshall University. When traveling through the American South, he visits old homes, museums, battlefields, cemeteries, antique stores, and music festivals. From his home in West Virginia, Kirk studies and preserves the history and culture of the Guyandotte Valley.

More About the Author

Brandon Kirk, Assistant Professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, is one of the country's most enthusiastic scholars of Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. The author of "Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy" (2014), he has contributed more than fifty articles on Appalachian-themed topics to regional newspapers and books. Mr. Kirk is an avid collector of oral histories, traditional music field recordings, and turn-of-the-century photographs and documents. Through his close association with the late John Hartford, he authored the Ed Haley biography and participated in nearly every facet of Mr. Hartford's later career. During this time he fellowshipped with such colorful and important personalities as Waylon Jennings, Shel Silverstein, and Earl Scruggs, as well as numerous other country and bluegrass stars. Previous to his time with Mr. Hartford, Kirk archived the public papers of West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler and worked closely on several projects with the late Jim Comstock, West Virginia's most famous newspaper publisher. He also served as a contributor to "West Virginia," a TV mini-series narrated by Richard Thomas that aired on PBS. More recently, he has archived the public papers of CBS executive Bob Tamplin, contributed to an upcoming video documentary on John Hartford's life, and acted as a consultant to the History Channel's mini-series, "Hatfields and McCoys." He currently serves on the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Rush on July 3, 2014
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It's wonderful when history is as exciting as fiction. Seeing the pictures of the characters brings the realism to the reader. This book reads like a novel but is based on historical facts. Love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Forest Curry on July 21, 2014
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Very well researched and written. References by local family members involved gave a very real perspective to the times. There was not one single boring page in the entire book. I didn't want to put it down. My father was raised in this area and spoke of many of these families involved and how we were related. Even at my age (57) this book put to reality what I thought was a myth when I was a young child listening to my father and grandfather speak of the area and the times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Ann Summers on October 13, 2014
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I really enjoyed this book. It was a written account of the history of our ancestors and the trials and troubles between families that I've known all my life. The places that the events took places are familiar. The characters and their way of life was described so well. I could not put the book down and hated when I'd read it all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TG Raines on July 16, 2014
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Great read,a very thoughtful well written well researched historical account of a little known family feud in southern WV Brandon tells the story in a way that reader can see the events take place in their minds eye . should be required reading for those interested in early Appalachian history .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melinda Beaver on July 31, 2014
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Great read across the board. Even if you're not native to the area, this book will truly draw you in and keep your attention! Must read!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie Kent Lucas on July 28, 2014
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Awesome!! Cool to see a history based on actual events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Albert W. on August 1, 2014
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it is one of the books I have read in a long tme
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