Lost Mountain

Lost Mountain

A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness : Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
A groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction that exposes how radical strip mining is destroying one of America's most precious natural resources and the communities that depend on it.

The mountains of Appalachia are home to one of the great forests of the world-they predate the Ice Age and scientists refer to them as the "rainforests" of North America for their remarkable density and species diversity. These mountains also hold the mother lode of American coal, and the coalmining industry has long been the economic backbone for families in a region hard-pressed for other job opportunities. But recently, a new type of mining has been introduced-"radical strip mining," aka "mountaintop removal"-in which a team employing no more than ten men and some heavy machinery literally blast off the top of a mountain, dump it in the valley below, and scoop out the coal.

Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain, aptly named "Lost Mountain." A native Kentuckian and the son of a coal worker, Reece makes it clear that strip mining is neither a local concern nor a radical contention, but a mainstream crisis that encompasses every hot-button issue-from corporate hubris and government neglect, to class conflict and poisoned groundwater, to irrevocable species extinction and landscape destruction. Published excerpts of Lost Mountain are already driving headlines and legislative action in Kentucky.

In Erik Reece, the mountains of Kentucky have found an eloquent and powerful spokesman in the tradition of Edward Abbey, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Henry David Thoreau. Like the work of those writers before him, Lost Mountain will stand as a landmark defense of a natural treasure-and a core part of our national identity-on the verge of extinction, and as the introduction of a mighty new literary voice.

Baker & Taylor
A cautionary analysis of the consequences of radical strip mining, otherwise known as "mountaintop removal," links its practice to virtually every leading social issue today, from groundwater pollution to corporate ethics, in an account that warns readers about dangers being posed to America's natural resources and the communities that depend on them.

Blackwell North Amer
Erik Reece issues a stinging account and an inspiring call to arms to defend one of America's most threatened natural treasures.
The mountains of Appalachia are home to one of the great forests of the world - scientists refer to it as the "rainforest" of North America because it predates the Ice Age and continues to host a remarkable density of diverse species. These mountains also hold the mother lode of American coal, and the coal-mining industry has long been the economic backbone for families in a region hard-pressed for other job opportunities. But now, with the advent of radical strip mining, aka "mountaintop removal," it takes no more than ten men and some heavy machinery to blast off the top of a mountain, dump it in the valley below, and scoop out the coal. The economic and environmental consequences are devastating on an unprecedented scale.
Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain, aptly named Lost Mountain. He makes evident that strip mining is not just a local concern or a radical issue, but a mainstream crisis that involves everything from corporate hubris and government neglect to species extinction and poisoned groundwater to class conflict and landscape destruction.

Baker
& Taylor

A cautionary analysis of the consequences of radical strip mining, otherwise known as "mountaintop removal," links its practice to virtually every leading social issue today, from groundwater pollution to corporate ethics, in an account that warns readers about dangers being posed to America's natural resources and the communities that depend on them. 30,000 first printing. First serial, Harper's.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2006
Description: xv, 250 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9781594489082
1594489084
Branch Call Number: 622.292 Ree

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bell5133
Jan 19, 2019

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.

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lukasevansherman
Aug 07, 2017

"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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