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Coal River

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Coal River Cover

ISBN13: 9780374125141
ISBN10: 0374125147
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of America's most dramatic environmental battles is unfolding in southern West Virginia. Coal companies are blasting the mountains, decapitating them for coal. The forested ridge tops and valley streams of Appalachia--one of the country's natural treasures--are being destroyed, along with towns and communities. An entire culture is disappearing, and to this day, most Americans have no idea it's happening.
 
Michael Shnayerson first traveled to the coal fields four years ago, on assignment for Vanity Fair. There he met an inspiring young lawyer named Joe Lovett, who was fighting mountaintop removal in court with a series of brilliant and daring lawsuits. He also met Judy Bonds, whose grassroots group, the Coal River Mountain Watch, was speaking out in a region where talking truth to power was both brave and dangerous. The two had joined forces to take on Massey Energy, the largest and most aggressive of the coal companies, and its swaggering, notorious chairman, Don Blankenship.
 
Coal River is Shnayerson's account of this dramatic struggle. From courtroom to boardroom, forest clearing to factory floor, Shnayerson gives us a novelistic and compelling portrait of the people who risked their reputations and livelihoods in the fight against King Coal.

Review:

"Through vivid first-person reporting and a thorough culling of court transcripts, newspaper clippings and corporate reports, Vanity Fair contributing editor Shnayerson (The Killers Within) has crafted an incriminating indictment of the Appalachian 'King Coal' industry in West Virginia, and of the man he defines as its rapacious kingpin, Massey Energy's CEO, Don Blankenship. The author's sympathies lie clearly with opponents of mountaintop mining, most prominently young attorney Joe Lovett and citizen activist Judy Bonds. Both have fought against a form of mining that shears off the tops of hills and dumps rubble into valleys and streams — a process abetted by the collusion of the state's often-lackadaisical Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' propensity to grant stream-destroying permits without oversight and the easing of environmental controls by the Bush administration. Shnayerson's compelling take on toxic mining methods and their heartrending impact on Appalachian inhabitants and their culture, has a wider focus than Erik Reece's 2006 title, Lost Mountain, which reported on one mountaintop's destruction, and strong echoes of the stomach-churning legal machinations recounted in Jonathan Harr's 1995 bestseller, A Civil Action." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Type 'Boone County WV' into Google Earth's search engine, and the image that appears on your computer screen is sobering: The rich green expanse of the central Appalachian Mountains — one of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet — is now pocked by numerous gray splotches that resemble nothing so much as bird droppings on a billiard table. It's not a pretty sight. And it's a sight... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

One of Americas most dramatic environmental battles is unfolding in the coal mines of southern West Virginia. Shnayerson gives readers a novelistic and compelling portrait of the people who have risked their reputations and livelihoods in the fight against King Coal.

About the Author

Michael Shnayerson is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. His books include The Car That Could: GMs Revolutionary Electric Vehicle and The Killers Within: The Deadly Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria with co-author Mark J. Plotkin.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

seminolewa, December 5, 2008 (view all comments by seminolewa)
As a child growing up in Kentucky, from a family not dependent upon coal mining, I knew only anecdotally how severe coal mining was on the environment--until I observed, as an adult, the devastation of mountaintop removal as a resident of West Virginia in the mid 1990s. Michael Shnayerson, in a book that rivals the "can't put it down" pace of Dan Brown's novels, has written a compelling and heart-ripping portrait of the callous disregard for the natural and human environment carried out by the coal barons. Although Don Blankenship may be little known beyond Appalachia, the havoc he has wreaked throughout Appalachia should be front page news nationwide. "Coal River" is just the vehicle to expose not only the blatant raping of the environment these soul-less mine owners are carrying out in a part of the country so touched by poverty, yet so much a part of us all; it also reveals the patronization and support given the coal companies by the autonomous and often secretive actions of field bureaucrats of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State's environmental protection agencies. If any hope can be taken from this tragic, though magnificently revealed story, it is the courageous actions of a small, diverse band of locals determined to save their land and their people. Shnayerson depicts their standoffs with Governor Manchin and Senator Byrd in words that, most appropriately, are reserved for heroes. "Coal River" stands side-by-side with Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", Harry Caudill's "Night Comes to The Cumberlands", and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" as a call to action, and is a must-read for us all.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374125141
Author:
Shnayerson, Michael
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Environmental aspects
Subject:
Coal mines and mining
Subject:
Industries - General
Subject:
Non-Classifiable
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
POL032000
Subject:
Coal mines and mining -- West Virginia.
Subject:
Business Writing
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080108
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes Notes and an Index
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.24x6.54x1.18 in. 1.24 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Mining

Coal River Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374125141 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Through vivid first-person reporting and a thorough culling of court transcripts, newspaper clippings and corporate reports, Vanity Fair contributing editor Shnayerson (The Killers Within) has crafted an incriminating indictment of the Appalachian 'King Coal' industry in West Virginia, and of the man he defines as its rapacious kingpin, Massey Energy's CEO, Don Blankenship. The author's sympathies lie clearly with opponents of mountaintop mining, most prominently young attorney Joe Lovett and citizen activist Judy Bonds. Both have fought against a form of mining that shears off the tops of hills and dumps rubble into valleys and streams — a process abetted by the collusion of the state's often-lackadaisical Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' propensity to grant stream-destroying permits without oversight and the easing of environmental controls by the Bush administration. Shnayerson's compelling take on toxic mining methods and their heartrending impact on Appalachian inhabitants and their culture, has a wider focus than Erik Reece's 2006 title, Lost Mountain, which reported on one mountaintop's destruction, and strong echoes of the stomach-churning legal machinations recounted in Jonathan Harr's 1995 bestseller, A Civil Action." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , One of Americas most dramatic environmental battles is unfolding in the coal mines of southern West Virginia. Shnayerson gives readers a novelistic and compelling portrait of the people who have risked their reputations and livelihoods in the fight against King Coal.
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