Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Days of Darkness: The Feu... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good copy ready to ship same or next day! May not include supplemental materials such as CDs and access codes. Cover shows normal wear and pages contain some marking/highlighting. Choose Expedited Shipping for delivery in 2-6 days! Thank you!
Trade in your item
Get a $0.76
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky Paperback – July 28, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$19.95
$11.65 $9.91

Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
$19.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky
  • +
  • Pioneer Families of Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky
Total price: $52.95
Buy the selected items together

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"―

From the Back Cover

Among the darkest corners of Kentucky's past are the grisly feuds that tore apart the hills of Eastern Kentucky from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. Now, from the tangled threads of conflicting testimony, John Ed Pearce, Kentucky's best known journalist, weaves engrossing accounts of six of the most notorious and long-running feuds - those in Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties. Each of these feuds arose from distinctive circumstances and the clash of differing personalities, but all shared one trait - a determination to settle disputes by the gun rather than by the rule of law. Most began with petty grievances and ended only when most of the feudists were dead. Neither law enforcement officials nor the state militia occasionally sent in by an exasperated governor had much effect in stopping the bloodletting. What caused the feuds that left Kentucky with its lingering reputation for violence? Pearce asks. Who were the feudists, and what forces - social, political, financial - hurled them at each other? Did Big Jim Howard really kill Governor William Goebel? Did Joe Eversole die trying to protect small mountain landowners from ruthless Eastern mineral exploiters? Did the Hatfield-McCoy fight start over a hog? For years, Pearce has interviewed descendants of feuding families and examined skimpy court records and often fictional newspaper accounts to uncover what really happened and why. His story of those days of darkness brings to light new evidence, questions commonly held beliefs about the feuds, and puts to rest some of the more popular legends. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; Reprint edition (July 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813126576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813126579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,088,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Read more ›
1 Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a great deal. The author covers the feuds or wars of eastern Kentucky from the time the area was settled until the last of the feuds died out in the 1930's. I was somewhat familiar with some of them, some of them not so much. It covers the Hatfield McCoy feud though not in as much detail as other books dealing only with the one subject. It covers others in much more detail. For example the Clay County War lasted almost a full century from the start to the final acts. Honestly the Hatfield McCoy feud was fairly insignificant compared to some of the others but the Hatfield McCoy feud in it's final days caught the attention of the sensationalist, yellow newspapers of the day while the others didn't. This book gives good coverage to the ones that aren't well known. The author really gives a good flavor of life in the area during this time when eastern Kentucky had the highest murder rate in the country. Good church going, civic minded community leaders shooting each other from ambush. The author readily states that he was hard pressed to find heros in any of this. These feuds were not fought by ignorant, barefoot, backwoods hillbilles but for the most part by the leading citizens because they were mostly about money and power - revenge certainly played a role but money and power seemed to be the driver. It's a good reference work as well as a very entertaining read. The author writes with humor with such things as an election day being fairly calm with relatively few gun fights. The author freely says in many cases there are different versions of what happened in a particular instance. In some case he offers an opinion as to what happened. In others he simply states the different versions and that there seems to be no way to know now exacty what happened. If you're a history buff, it's a very enjoyable read and a good book for later reference.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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".
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Has my families history in it. Even mentions my Mother and her father by name. Some of the information is not told as it actually happened in the Clay County Wars but most of it is correct. To bad the author couldn't have been able to interview more of the people who's stories he told in the book. My mother was still alive at the time he wrote this book. Otherwise, the book is very well written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky