Starred Review. Novelist House (Clay's Quilt) and Kentucky journalist Howard, both "children of Appalachia," decided to pick up where the national media have left off in their environmental obsession, illuminating the long-growing mining crisis in Central Appalachia. Twelve Appalachians-among them a college student, former union organizers, community activists and the octogenarian "mother of folk," Jean Ritchey-provide first-hand accounts of a disappearing way of life, a vital ecology in rapid decline, an industry that refuses to take responsibility for the devastation it causes (blowing the tops off mountains is only the latest, most destructive technique), and a nation too hooked on cheap energy to help. If nothing else, these oral histories will give readers a sense of what's at stake on a personal level. Student Nathan Hall calls mining the best job he ever had: "I met the most interesting characters of my life... the most hilarious, most good hearted." Says Judy Bond, lifelong resident of the leading coal-producing county in W.V., "The more coal we mine, the poorer we get." This important collection illuminates the ongoing betrayal of the American mining town.
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*Starred Review* Of all the destructive practices our energy-hungry society has invented, mountaintop-removal coal mining is the worst. After “an entire mountain is blown up for a relatively thin seam of coal,” topsoil, rocks, and trees are shoved into valleys, burying streams, killing plants and animals, and endangering people. Appalachians have tolerated this because they have always looked to King Coal for employment, but mountaintop removal actually eliminates jobs, and now the “voices of the people” of coal country are rising in protest. House and Howard vividly profile 12 remarkable Appalachians, many with generations of coal miners in their family tree, who are bravely speaking out in defense of Appalachia’s threatened landscape, wildlife, and human communities. In memory-laced, sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing oral histories, each activist shares tales of environmental awakenings and risky activism, among them folksinger Jean Ritchie; writer Denise Giardina; Carl Shoupe, a former deep miner; and whistle-blower Jack Spadaro. All 12 eco-heroes are mesmerizing, informative, and motivating as they articulate their moral and spiritual convictions, love for the land, and pride in Appalachian culture, while calling for responsible mining and respect and protection for all of life. --Donna SeamanSee all Editorial Reviews
very moving and disturbing that this is being done to the earth God created for us.Published 29 days ago by Sherry Seay
A must read for anyone who cares and for all who don't have a clue like many of our national leaders including those from KYPublished 9 months ago by James William Holmes
Excellent book with personal insights into a very polarized issue in Appalachia. It is good to hear the people speak relating personal stories often overlooked in the conflict... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nickodemus
I never read the entire book. I purchased it as a gift for my brother in Newfoundland but since you don't deliver to Canada I was forced to have it delivered to my home and then... Read morePublished on July 20, 2013 by Sandra Taylor
Mountains that are 650 million years old are among the first creations on this planet. They are being scraped, blasted, and hauled into valleys where the acids and metals are... Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by Edward T. Bridges