Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartlandby Jeff Biggers
Cultural historian Jeff Biggers takes us to the dark amphitheatre ruins of his family’s nearly 200-year-old hillside homestead that has been strip-mined on the edge of the first federally recognized Wilderness Site in southern Illinois. In doing so, he not only comes to grips with his own denied backwoods heritage, but also chronicles a dark and missing chapter in the American experience: the historical nightmare of coal outside of Appalachia, serving as an exposé of a secret legacy of shame and resiliency.
"This is a world-shaking, belief-rattling, immensely important book. If you're an American, it is almost a patriotic duty to read it."Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
"Part historical narrative, part family memoir, part pastoral paean, and part jeremiad against the abuse of the land and of the men who gave and continue to give their lives to (and often for) the mines, [Reckoning at Eagle Creek] puts a human face on the industry that supplies nearly half of America’s energy… it offers a rare historical perspective on the vital yet little considered industry, along with a devastating critique of the myth of ‘clean coal.’”Publishers Weekly
“[An] enriching history and an important look at the staggering human and environmental costs of mining.”Kirkus Reviews
“Biggers offers much that’s new, especially concerning events in the coalfields of southern Illinois, where his grandfather worked in the pits, where strip mining began, where Mother Jones organized workers, and where some of our nation’s fiercest labor battles were fought.”Scott Russell Sanders, Orion Magazine
- Nation Books
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- Hachette Digital, Inc.
- NOOK Book
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- 1 MB
Meet the Author
Jeff Biggers has worked as a writer, educator, policy analyst, and radio correspondent across the United States, Europe, India, and Mexico. His award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, PRI, and in scores of magazines and national newspapers. His work has won numerous honors, including an American Book Award, Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award. He lives in southern Illinois.
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