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Coal River by Michael Shnayerson
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Coal River

by Michael Shnayerson

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I wish I could say that the book shocked me, unfortunately, as a West Virginia resident, it did not. It pleases me that the plight of West Virginia's mountains, streams and people now gets a bit of national exposure. Perhaps this will turn the tide back.

Shnayerson does a masterful job of documenting King Coal's stranglehold on the geography, economy and politics of West Virginia as well as the stunning unwillingness of agencies with oversight over the coal industry to simply do their jobs.

It's a sobering read, but well worthwhile. ( )
  Dogberryjr | Feb 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374125147, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:23 -0400)

One of America's most dramatic environmental battles is unfolding in southern West Virginia. Coal companies are decapitating the mountains. 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 most Americans have no idea it's happening. Journalist Shnayerson recounts the dramatic struggle as grassroots activists speak truth to power and an inspiring young lawyer challenges the largest and most aggressive of the coal companies in a series of brilliant and daring lawsuits. 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.--From publisher description.… (more)

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