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Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky Hardcover – November 15, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky; First Edition edition (November 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813118743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813118741
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

""Provides an overview to the major conflicts while laying to rest various mistaken notions about the feuds." -- Journal of Appalachian Studies" --



""If you are pursuing interesting stories of Kentucky's past; if you are seeking an entertaining mythology; if you find the evolution of oral history fascinating or are just curious about feuds in Eastern Kentucky, then read John Ed Pearce's Days of Darkness." -- Lexington Herald-Leader" --



""Taken as a chronicle of several different feuds, the book succeeds admirably." -- Lexington Herald-Leader" --



""A study of the feuds of Eastern Kentucky -- six in all -- and how the violence and brutality they were known for influenced the perception of the Appalachian region of Kentucky." -- Chevy Chaser Magazine" --



""Recounting shatters old myths -- feuds did not result from insignificant squabbles, and many feuders were not ignorant 'hillbillies,' but rather prominent businessmen and college graduates." -- Kentucky Monthly" --



""Pearce untangles the loose threads of conflicting testimony to present the reader with the real truth on six of the bloodiest and longest-running feuds in the history of Kentucky." -- Lone Star Book Review" --



""While the Hatfield-McCoy feud received the most notoriety, there were a number of other similar family conflicts going on in the mountains of eastern Kentucky during the period 1875 to 1920.... You can learn more about all these feuds and more."--Modern Mountain Magazine" --

About the Author

John Ed Pearce worked on the staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal for forty years and was a widely published columnist. He was co-recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in 1967.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
Excellent book that seems to accurately cover most all the details of East.
H. Marshall
Enjoy and even though I had to go back and read some of it again to follow the characters, this is a well written document of that time period.
RLE2000
Book would be a good addition to the libary of any Civl War/U.S History buffs.
Junn13

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Frazier on November 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being a descendant of the Eversoles portayed in the French/Eversole feud, this book was like walking back into history and meeting them face to face. Wonderful job John.
Its no wonder you won the pulitzer price. I have recommended this book to everyone I know researching the families of Eastern Kentucky.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David M. England on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a genealogist that have family that came to central Kentucky from Clay County, Kentucky. I also made sure growing up, that the one article that I did not fail to read in the daily Louisville Courier Journal, was John Ed Pearce's article.
Most only know about the Hatfield-McCoy feud and do not realize that there were larger and more deadlier feuds. John Ed Pearce is the first writer of the feuds that allowed me to grasp the connection between the 100 years war in Clay County, and its negative effect on the social and economic development in this area, and why so many people migrated away from this area for better (and safer) opportunities to raise their families. Contrary to another reviewer, John Ed does an excellant job of weaving his storytelling skills with the research and oral interviews that he conducted for this subject and does not perpetuate but reports the facts of this era, whether you like the facts or not...they existed. When people are afraid to have a light on after dark in town for fear of someone shooting through the window, some sterotypes are reality. The hillbilly stereotypes were developed and perpetuated by the media, and is acknowledged by Mr. Pearce, and credited in photos that were staged of the Hatfield-McCoy feudists that were staged by a magazine photographer of the era. The interviews that he conducted personally would have never come to light if it had not been for Mr. Pearce and some of those he interviewed may have already passed. I am thankful that he had the contacts to find these interesting individuals and put down their story on paper.
I had the pleasure and honor to have a brief e-mail correspondance with Mr. Pearce during his retirement in Florida before he died, about some topics of interest to me in his book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Frazier on November 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being the descendant of the Eversoles It was great to see this book get the kind of coverage it recieved. Mr. Pearce has done a wonderful job by interviewing hundreds of descendants of the patriarchs of the feuds. It no wonder he received the pulitzer prize!!! I enjoyed the book a great deal and have recommended it to everyone I know doing Eastern Kentucky research.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue on August 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a very compelling, honest look at the history of the Feuds that took place in Kentucky.Very well written and should be read by every person interested in State History.The names have not been changed and this book makes the area come alive, for good or bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Junn13 on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative book on some of the more brutal events, and characters that help define the Culture. Book has an approach that is far different from the short, myoptic, broad stroke view of the Culture that is often portrayed by others..
Book is an easy read, but following the cast of characters and some of their exploits does take some effort.
Book would be a good addition to the libary of any Civl War/U.S History buffs.

Book was mentioned in the book "Outliers: The Story of Success" written by Malcolm Gladwell; in particular his comments on the subject of "honor cultures".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hexagram of the Heavens on July 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Hatfields and the McCoys and all the rest are here, in all their drunken rages and stupidities. JEP's writing occasionally is a little hard to follow in that there are so darn many similar characters in the various feuds that it's hard to follow the who's who of it when he fails to re-identify the context of a character when that person comes back onstage, and that's the reason I docked it a star. On the other hand, there is no other source for a lot of this material, which the author scoured the back roads and archives of Kentucky to put together.

There was some reference made to the Kentucky feuds in the book "Outliers" (the book with the "10,000 hours" trope), claiming that the feuds came out of a kind of medieval Scots "Braveheart" ethic, which I don't feel is altogether born out by this more authoritative book, which probably would have refuted "Outliers" directly on that count if it hadn't preceded it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RLE2000 on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since I am doing my ancestry and that does include some folks in this book. I have researched a lot of families and I find this to be the most accurate account with compared to the records I have, "as accurate as possible under that time period and location". I read some reviews before I purchased it and have some friends that gave me there opinion but it surely helps with my research and those families, as I stated including mine. I read excerpts from other book accounts but this is by far the best. Enjoy and even though I had to go back and read some of it again to follow the characters, this is a well written document of that time period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barry Nall on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rich look at a period of time in a region where the law of the feud was the final statement. The Author, John Ed Pearce, does an excellent job of providing detail along with readability. He also strips any romanticism away, and is not shy about assessing character. Pearce also makes it plain that these feuds were not the product of dumb hillbillies, but were usually between the two affluent and influential families/groups withing a certain geographical area.

After watching the Hatfield-McCoy feud on the History Channel, I became interested in this subject/time period. While the history channel had a decent presentation of the Feud, Pearce brings more stark facts - which I'll leave to people to read for themselves.

I often judge a book by it's re-readability and this is a book I will treasure in my collection and read repeatably.
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