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Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1555663193
ISBN-10: 1555663192
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A brilliant book by a brilliant reporter—one of the most important books I’ve read in years. -- Terry Tempest Williams, author of Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert

A testament to the strength of ordinary citizens acting in the "common good." -- Jim Hightower

A tip of the hat to Andrea Peacock who ... brought this lethal ... story into the light of day. -- Charles Bowden, author of Blood Orchid

Skillfully exposes a true axis of evil and its dire human effects ... a "must read" for people of conscience. -- Jim Harrison

This is a story almost too terrible to read, yet too terrible to put down. -- Rick Bass, author of The Book of Yaak
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Johnson Books (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555663192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555663193
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Andrea Peacock flirted with a career in law before turning her attention fulltime to journalism. So it makes sense that the author builds the case against WR Grace with the legal precision of a prosecutor hanging criminals out to dry. But Peacock's first book "Libby, Montana" is no mere amicus brief; it's a complex tale of heartbreak. Her hard-hitting expose concerns the nature of corporate greed, and Peacock makes sure to show how collusion between big business and local government can destroy the lives of ordinary people. For decades WR Grace, the same corporation featured in "A Civil Action," supplied the world with toxic asbestos-laden materials from its mine in remote northwest Montana. For 30 years, the company ignored signs that the dust from its operations was killing miners and their kin; now the record has come back to haunt Grace. Peacock overcomes the challenges inherent in exposing environmental crime, putting a human face on both sides of this fascinating story, making her case with rare humanity. A worthy read -- and if you don't believe me, Peacock has blurbs from Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Hightower and Jim Harrison, who all agree this book is too good, too important to be ignored.
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Format: Paperback
I was born in this town, Libby, Montana. Eventhough I grew up eighteen miles away in Troy, I knew most of the families mentioned in the book. My high school field trip was a day trip to the mine, the dry processing plant, the expansion plant, the loading docks. All through junior high and high school, we had track meets next to the railroad tracks where the trains were loaded with the ore. What she says in her book is true, no one told anyone that the ore was harmful, or even had asbestos in it. No one said a word, and if anyone asked, they were told it was "nuisance dust." It was such a cover-up that I had to read the Seattle PI account twice before I believed it.
I applied for a job at the mine when I went to college. That was thirty years ago. If I had gotten that job, chances are I would be dead, just like my father. Dad never worked at the mine, but he drove by it several times a week to maintain some radio equipment on top of the mountain. Several times a week for twenty-six years and he died of Mesothelioma.
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Format: Paperback
The fact that authors Jim Harrison, Terry Tempest Williams, Peter Matthiessen, and Charles Bowden all endorsed Andrea Peacock's book was enough for me to dive in. From the first page, it was a decision I never regretted.
Peacock is a very good writer with a keen and precise instinct for investigative reporting. Her ability to shine a light on one of America's most savage and tragic disasters makes the story not only interesting, but arresting as well. What happened in Libby, Montana, is a case study of corporate greed, government complacency, and the arrogance of power.
If you are interested in this subject (and you should be), Peacock's rendering of the tale will satisfy you on every level.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Besides bringing us, intimately and palpably, news of horrific corporate behavior, Peacock makes the place and life of Libby, Montana into a vision of America that transcends asbestos. It is a vision of geologic glory and frontier humanity that is as true as blood and stone and that is also the founding dream of American consciousness. In such a vision, in a town like Libby, when people who can make money from asbestos, people who might be you and I at whatever distance, when we, even if only in acquiescence, when we kill unknowing souls for profit for generation after generation, when that happens, the best of the American dream flows away from us like a river irredeemably polluted.
Peacock has given us a mirror on the triumphant nightmare of American greed. "Libby, Montana" is a perfectly heartbreaking book.
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As the daughter of a man who died from mesothelioma, I read this book with high emotion. Andrea Peacock presents the facts with humanness, and as I know for fact, no lives will be the same. Profit as priority over lives is reprehensible. Please read this book - you may think asbestos is not a danger - but in fact it is still legal in the U.S and Canada.
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