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Portraits of Grief, Montana style
on October 30, 2003
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.