In the long, complex history of coal exploitation in Appalachia, mountaintop-removal (MTR) mining is the most destructive practice yet visited upon the land and its people: Ancient forested mountainsides are blown up to extract the underlying coal, and the resulting debris is dumped into nearby valleys and streams. The politics and economics of mining in the region have long allowed coal companies virtually free rein, but in recent years, opposition to MTR has gained national momentum.
This illustrated volume, like the powerful documentary film on which it is based, gives voice to the growing chorus of protest against MTR mining in Appalachia through a collection of essays, oral history, commentary, and images. It features many of the personalities from the film in their own words, as well as thoughtful essays by such eloquent voices as writers Wendell Berry and Silas House, activist Judy Bonds, journalists Michael Shnayerson and Denise Giardina, and entertainers Kathy Mattea and Ashley Judd. Illustrations include contemporary photography of this still-beautiful region and of mining devastation and the affected landscapes, communities, and people by noted photojournalists such as Mark Schmerling, Builder Levy, and Vivian Stockman. Sidebars feature excerpts from contemporary and historical literature, poetry, song lyrics, drawings, cartoons, and ephemera.
|Product dimensions:||9.20(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.78(d)|
About the Author
Shirley Stewart Burns is the author of Bringing Down the Mountains, the first academic book detailing the social, environmental, political, and economic consequences of MTR mining on southern West Virginia communities. She holds a Ph.D. in history with an Appalachian emphasis and served as an editor for the Family and Community section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, among other publications. Born in the southern coalfields of Wyoming County, West Virginia, Burns is the daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, and sister of underground coal miners.
Mari-Lynn Evans has executive-produced many television programs and films, including The Appalachians, a top-rated three-hour PBS documentary (with companion book and soundtrack), which was seen by more than 100 million people. Originally from Bulltown, West Virginia, Evans now lives in Akron, Ohio.
Silas House is the author of the novels Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2002), and The Coal Tattoo (2004), and the play The Hurting Part (2005). His work has received many awards, including two Kentucky Novel of the Year Awards, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Appalachian Book of the Year, and the Chaffin Award. House lives in eastern Kentucky, where he was born and raised.