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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Dogberryjr - LibraryThing
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 ... Read full review
One The Tipoff from Tony
Two A Brule Force Called Massey
Three Fighting Back
Four A ShortLived Legal Victory
Five Slacking the State Supreme Court
Six The War with Washington
Seven A School in Masseys Shadow
Eleven Dons Terrible Year
Twelve Turning a Courtroom Loss Around
Thirteen A Walk Through West Virginia
Fourteen Back in Court Against the Corps
Fifteen Don Goes for It All
Sixteen A Ruling at Last
Epilogue The View from Kayford Mountain