Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland

Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland

by Jeff Biggers

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568586182
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 01/26/2010
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 710,440
File size: 1 MB

About 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.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Prologue: In Coal Blood xxi

Introduction: Mr. President, Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal 1

Chapter 1 4.5 Hours: The Choices We Made 15

Chapter 2 In the Name of the Shawnee: Removing the Earth's Liver 41

Chapter 3 Black Diamonds, Black Lives: The Entangled Roots of Slavery and Coal 91

Chapter 4 Who Killed the Miners? The Anatomy of Denial 131

Chapter 5 Black Waters, Black Waters: The Murder of Little Egypt 185

Chapter 6 The Short Swift Time of Clean Coal on Earth: Dirty Coal Has Left the Building 221

Epilogue: The Last Eagle Creekers 261

Coalfield and Climate Change Resources and Organizations 267

Bibliography 269

Acknowledgments 285

Index 289

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