The book focuses on mountaintop removal in eastern Kentucky. I found it heartbreaking. Anyone who uses electricity should read this book to know what devastation is done to the Earth to give them that electricity.
For accompanying songs, listen to "Paradise" by John Fogerty and "Last Resort" by the Eagles.
"When they want you to die for profit they will let you know."-Wendell Berry
When most people hear Appalachia, they probably think bucolic forests, folk music, and scenic hiking. But there's something much darker and more destructive going on, which Erik Reece explores in this book, which mixes reportage, personal essay, and nature writing in the tradition of Edward Abbey and Wendell Berry, who contributes the introduction. Reece chronicles the profitable and harmful process of mountain removal, which literally takes the top off a mountain to uncover the coal underneath. As he makes clear, these mountains, forests, and streams that are harmed are never recovering. It's an impassioned and eye-opening book. Reece is from Kentucky, so he has a personal connection to the land. As our president tries to continue our dependence on coal, this is a necessary read.
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