"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most.
But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Oelwein, Iowa is like thousand of other small towns across the county. It has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy and an out-migration of people. If this wasn't enough to deal with, an incredibly cheap, long-lasting, and highly addictive drug has come to town, touching virtually everyone's lives. Journalist Nick Reding reported this story over a period of four years, and he brings us into the heart of the town through an ensemble cast of intimately drawn characters, including: Clay Hallburg, the town doctor, who fights meth even as he struggles with his own alcoholism; Nathan Lein, the town prosecutor, whose case load is filled almost exclusively with meth-related crime, and Jeff Rohrick, who is still trying to kick a meth habit after four years.
Methland is a portrait of a community under siege, of the lives the drug has devastated, and of the heroes who continue to fight the war. It will appeal to readers of David Sheff's bestselling Beautiful Boy, and serve as inspiration for those who believe in the power of everyday people to change their world for the better.
With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.
The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.
In telling Charlie’s story, Bragg conjures up the backwoods hamlets of Georgia and Alabama in the years when the roads were still dirt and real men never cussed in front of ladies. A masterly family chronicle and a human portrait so vivid you can smell the cornbread and whiskey, Ava’s Man is unforgettable.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The nation’s economy is in trouble, but there’s one cash crop that has the potential to turn it around: cannabis (also known as marijuana and hemp). According to Time, the legal medicinal cannabis economy already generates $200 million annually in taxable proceeds from a mere two hundred thousand registered medical users in just fourteen states.
But, thanks to Nixon and the War on Drugs, cannabis is still synonymous with heroin on the federal level even though it has won mainstream acceptance nationwide.
ABC News reports that underground cannabis’s $35.8 billion annual revenues already exceed the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion). Considering the economic impact of Prohibition—and its repeal—Too High to Fail isn’t a commune-dweller’s utopian rant, it’s an objectively (if humorously) reported account of how one plant can drastically change the shape of our country, culturally, politically, and economically.
Too High to Fail covers everything from a brief history of hemp to an insider’s perspective on a growing season in Mendocino County, where cannabis drives 80 percent of the economy (to the tune of $6 billion annually). Investigative journalist Doug Fine follows one plant from seed to patient in the first American county to fully legalize and regulate cannabis farming. He profiles an issue of critical importance to lawmakers, media pundits, and ordinary Americans—whether or not they inhale. It’s a wild ride that includes swooping helicopters, college tuitions paid with cash, cannabis-friendly sheriffs, and never-before-gained access to the world of the emerging legitimate, taxpaying “ganjaprenneur.”
He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesn’t need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasn’t the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself.
The Prince of Frogtown documents a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Rick’s youth, to Jacksonville’s one-hundred-year-old mill, the town’s blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Rick’s father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Rick’s later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association, Sociology of Sexualities Section
Winner of the 2010 Congress Inaugural Qualitative Inquiry Book Award Honorable Mention
From Wal-Mart drag parties to renegade Homemaker’s Clubs, Out in the Country offers an unprecedented contemporary account of the lives of today’s rural queer youth. Mary L. Gray maps out the experiences of young people living in small towns across rural Kentucky and along its desolate Appalachian borders, providing a fascinating and often surprising look at the contours of gay life beyond the big city. Gray illustrates that, against a backdrop of an increasingly impoverished and privatized rural America, LGBT youth and their allies visibly—and often vibrantly—work the boundaries of the public spaces available to them, whether in their high schools, public libraries, town hall meetings, churches, or through websites. This important book shows that, in addition to the spaces of Main Street, rural LGBT youth explore and carve out online spaces to fashion their emerging queer identities. Their triumphs and travails defy clear distinctions often drawn between online and offline experiences of identity, fundamentally redefining our understanding of the term ‘queer visibility’ and its political stakes. Gray combines ethnographic insight with incisive cultural critique, engaging with some of the biggest issues facing both queer studies and media scholarship. Out in the Country is a timely and groundbreaking study of sexuality and gender, new media, youth culture, and the meaning of identity and social movements in a digital age.
It's an awkward marriage at best, a young man with a Ph.D. in theology, full of ideas and ambitions, determined to improve his parish and bring them into the twenty-first century, and a community that is "as tightly sealed as a jar of home-canned pickles." In their own way, they welcome him and his family, even though they think he's "got bigger fish to fry." Thus begins Richard Lischer's first year as a pastor: bringing communion to the sick (but forgetting to bring the wafers); marrying two unlikely couples--a pregnant teenager and her boyfriend, and two people who can't stop fighting.
Often he doesn't understand his congregation, and sometimes they don't understand him; for instance, why does his wife hire a baby-sitter and instead of leaving, put on her bathing suit, grab a stack of novels, and hide from the kids? Or why can't Pastor Lischer see how important it is for a woman with little money to buy an elaborate coffin to bury her husband in?
There are also the moments of grace, when pastor and parishioner unite for a common goal: when he asks for prayers for his infant son, and can feel everyone in the congregation ministering to him; when old hurts are put aside to help a desperate young woman finish college and raise her baby; or when he helps save a woman from dying of a drug overdose.
In Open Secrets Lischer tells not only his own story but also the story of New Cana and all of its inhabitants--lovable, deeply flawed, imperfect people that stick together. With his sharp eye and keen wit, Lischer perfectly captures the comedy of small town life with all of its feuds, rumors, scandals, and friendships. In the end he learns to appreciate not only the life New Cana has to offer, but also the people who have accepted him, at last, as part of themselves.
From the Hardcover edition.
Benson tracks the development of tobacco farming since the plantation slavery period and the formation of a powerful tobacco industry presence in North Carolina. In recent decades, tobacco companies that sent farms into crisis by aggressively switching to cheaper foreign leaf have coached growers to blame the state, public health, and aggrieved racial minorities for financial hardship and feelings of vilification. Economic globalization has exacerbated social and racial tensions in North Carolina, but the corporations that benefit have rarely been considered a key cause of harm and instability, and have now adopted social-responsibility platforms to elide liability for smoking disease. Parsing the nuances of history, power, and politics in rural America, Benson explores the cultural and ethical ambiguities of tobacco farming and offers concrete recommendations for the tobacco-control movement in the United States and worldwide.
Paddy Doherty loves his life as an Irish traveller, but as a child he felt like an outsider. He was different to his siblings. On the rare occasions he went to school, he was bullied for being a gypsy boy. And beyond the gates of the camp he found nothing but hostility.
Slowly, Paddy's hurt turned into anger and by the age of 11 he had started out on an illustrious career in bare-knuckle fighting. This earned him a position as one of the most well-respected (and feared) men in the travelling community. Yet while he won countless contests in the ring, the real battles he faced were very much outside.
In this deeply honest autobiography, he tells of how he has loved and lost five children; plummeted to seven stone while battling depression, drink and drugs. He describes how it feels to be shot point-blank in the head and the lengths he'll go to to protect his people, as well as life since My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Big Brother.
Told with all the warmth and humour he is famed for, Paddy's rich and colourful story is one that will stay with you for a long time to come.
"In contemporary letters John Berger seems to me peerless; not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience." --Susan Sontag
A breathtaking feat of reportage, American Fire combines procedural with love story, redefining American tragedy for our time.
The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate—there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning.
The culprit, and the path that led to these crimes, is a story of twenty-first century America. Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse first drove down to the reeling county to cover a hearing for Charlie Smith, a struggling mechanic who upon his capture had promptly pleaded guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But as Charlie’s confession unspooled, it got deeper and weirder. He wasn’t lighting fires alone; his crimes were galvanized by a surprising love story. Over a year of investigating, Hesse uncovered the motives of Charlie and his accomplice, girlfriend Tonya Bundick, a woman of steel-like strength and an inscrutable past. Theirs was a love built on impossibly tight budgets and simple pleasures. They were each other’s inspiration and escape…until they weren’t.
Though it’s hard to believe today, one hundred years ago Accomack was the richest rural county in the nation. Slowly it’s been drained of its industry—agriculture—as well as its wealth and population. In an already remote region, limited employment options offer little in the way of opportunity. A mesmerizing and crucial panorama with nationwide implications, American Fire asks what happens when a community gets left behind. Hesse brings to life the Eastern Shore and its inhabitants, battling a punishing economy and increasingly terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. The result evokes the soul of rural America—a land half gutted before the fires even began.
HENRY BESTON (1888-1968) was the author of many books, including The Outermost House, White Pine and Blue Water, and The St. Lawrence.
By turns cattle rancher, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife and mother, Bell vividly recounts her struggle to find solid earth in which to put down roots. Brimming with careful insight and written in a spare, radiant prose, her story is a heart-wrenching ode to the rough, enormous beauty of the Western landscape and the peculiar sweetness of hard labor, to finding oneself even in isolation, to a life formed by nature, and to the redemption of love, whether given or received.
Quietly profound and moving, astonishing in its honesty, in its deep familiarity with country rarely seen so clearly, and in beauties all its own, Claiming Ground is a truly singular memoir.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this twelfth volume of the series, you'll find reminiscences about learning to square dance and tales about traditional craftsmen who created useful items in the old-time ways that have since disappeared in most of the country. Here are lessons on how to make rose beads and wooden coffins, and on how to find turtles in your local pond. We hear the voices of descendants of the Cherokees who lived in the region, and we learn about what summer camp was like for generations of youngsters. We meet a rich assortment of Appalachian characters and listen to veterans recount their war experiences. Illustrated with photographs and drawings, Foxfire 12 is a rich trove of information and stories from a fascinating American culture.
Deer Hunting with Jesus is Joe Bageant’s report on what he learned when he moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia. Like countless American small towns, it is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. Two in five of the people in his old neighborhood do not have high school diplomas or health care. Alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape.
He writes of:
• His childhood friends who work at factory jobs that are constantly on the verge of being outsourced
• The mortgage and credit card rackets that saddle the working poor with debt
• The ubiquitous gun culture—and why the left doesn’ t get it
• Scots Irish culture and how it played out in the young life of Lynddie England
What it adds up to, he asserts, is an unacknowledged class war.
By turns tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks."
Look out for Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, on sale now!
In this rousing examination of contemporary American male identity, acclaimed author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert explores the fascinating true story of Eustace Conway. In 1977, at the age of seventeen, Conway left his family's comfortable suburban home to move to the Appalachian Mountains. For more than two decades he has lived there, making fire with sticks, wearing skins from animals he has trapped, and trying to convince Americans to give up their materialistic lifestyles and return with him back to nature. To Gilbert, Conway's mythical character challenges all our assumptions about what it is to be a modern man in America; he is a symbol of much we feel how our men should be, but rarely are.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Impassioned and provocative, Another Country expands the possibilities of queer studies beyond its city limits. Herring leads his readers from faeries in the rural Midwest to photographs of white supremacists in the deep South, from Roland Barthes’s obsession with Parisian fashion to a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel set in the Appalachian Mountains, and from cubist paintings in Lancaster County to lesbian separatist communes on the northern California coast. The result is an entirely original account of how queer studies can—and should—get to another country.
Fresh out of the Ivy League, New Yorker Richard Rubin answers a help-wanted ad for a journalist and suddenly finds himself thrust into the center of Greenwood, Mississippi, an old Delta town just beginning to submit to the realities of life in modern America. To Rubin's great surprise, Greenwood embraces him as he sets out to cover its many stories; soon, to his much greater surprise, he embraces Greenwood too, adapting so well that he even becomes a fervent booster of the local high school's football team.
While covering that team, he meets Handy Campbell, its star seventeen-year-old quarterback, a poor, unknown black kid from the projects who had never played on any team before his senior year. But Handy is also the greatest natural talent anyone can recall, and by the end of the season, he has won unimaginable glory. Rubin comes to believe that their careers will somehow rise together -- the cub reporter and his prize scoop -- in Greenwood and beyond.
But Greenwood's welcoming face hides darker secrets, and ultimately Rubin must leave it in order to preserve his own sense of right and wrong. As he departs, he is at least comforted by the knowledge that Handy Campbell will also be leaving Greenwood, bound for a powerhouse college football program that regularly sends its players to the NFL.
Six years later, Rubin is back in New York when he learns that Handy Campbell is not in the NFL but in Greenwood once again, charged with murdering a good friend. Rubin returns south to cover the trial and trace the trail that took Handy from Mississippi State University to the Leflore County Jail -- including, he discovers, the sinister sabotaging of his erstwhile prize scoop's football career. In the process, Rubin is forced to confront his own unresolved feelings about Greenwood, as the best and worst elements of the town rise up once again, starker than ever, to do battle over one man's fate.
Rubin's narrative, populated with a gallery of unforgettable characters, leads readers through a series of fascinating stories, suspense-laced revelations, and startling plot twists. Bold and beautifully written, Confederacy of Silence is a rare glimpse at how differently a small town regards two outsiders in its midst, and a tale of how all three of them are changed forever by the dawning of the New Old South.
In their conversations with the justices, Brian Lamb and Susan Swain bring readers into a fascinating world to which few have had access. Chief Justice John Roberts talks about the role of the Court in society, his role as chief justice, and the process of deciding cases. Justice Stephen Breyer takes us on a private tour of his chambers and describes the differences between the Court and the Congress. And new Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan reflect on their first impressions of the job. Through these encounters, the justices’ personalities, intellects, and devotion to the Court emerge.
Enriching this material are Mark Farkas’s interviews with journalists, court historians, and other experts on the Court. Reporters Joan Biskupic and Lyle Denniston discuss the Supreme Court in action and the impact of a new member of the Court. Clerk of the Supreme Court William Suter illuminates the traditions of the Court. Historian James O’Hara discusses the Supreme Court building and its history. Former Solicitor General Drew Days III and attorney Maureen Mahoney describe the experience of facing the justices in fast-paced oral arguments.
The Supreme Court offers readers a rare window into the nation’s highest court through the eyes of those who serve there. It is absorbing reading for anyone interested in this vital and powerful institution.
Design, forge, and fix your own tools, hardware, and household accessories with master craftsman and teacher Alexander G. Weygers. The Complete Modern Blacksmith contains clear, step-by-step instructions and hundreds of the author’s own detailed drawings, bringing scores of time-honored techniques to modern artisans – experienced craftsmen and beginners alike.
This unique resource brings together three popular but long-out-of-print classics:
• The Modern Blacksmith, which covers everything from developing the correct hammer and body motions for forging and creating tools such as pliers, shovels, and hinges.
• The Recycling, Use, and Repair of Tools, which stresses the reuse of old materials, featuring easy-to-follow processes.
• The Making of Tools, which explores how to design, sharpen, and temper whichever tool you need, using only basic shop equipment and scrap steel.
A truly invaluable resource, The Complete Modern Blacksmith is an essential volume in any craftman's library.
First published in 1973, Skye Moody’s Hillbilly Women shares the stunning and raw oral histories of nineteen women in twentieth-century Southern Appalachia, from their day-to-day struggles for survival to the personal triumphs of their hardscrabble existence. They are wives, widows, and daughters of coal miners; factory hands, tobacco graders, cotton mill workers, and farmers; and women who value honest labor, self-esteem, and dignity. Shining a much-needed light into a misunderstood culture and identity, the stories within reflect the universally human struggle to live meaningful and dignified lives.
Updated with a new introduction and material from the author.
In The Rural Modern, Merkel-Hess shows that Chinese reformers and intellectuals created an idea of modernity that was not simply about what was foreign and new, as in Shanghai and other cities, but instead captured the Chinese people’s desire for social and political change rooted in rural traditions and institutions. She traces efforts to remake village education, economics, and politics, analyzing how these efforts contributed to a new, inclusive vision of rural Chinese life. Merkel-Hess argues that as China sought to redefine itself, such rural reform efforts played a major role, and tensions that emerged between rural and urban ways deeply informed social relations, government policies, and subsequent efforts to create a modern nation during the communist period.
On a cold night in January 2001, the idyllic community of Dartmouth College was shattered by the discovery that two of its most beloved professors had been hacked to death in their own home. Investigators searched helplessly for clues linking the victims, Half and Susanne Zantop, to their murderer or murderers. A few weeks later, across the river, in the town of Chelsea, Vermont, police cars were spotted in front of the house of high school senior Robert Tulloch. The police had come to question Tulloch and his best friend, Jim Parker. Soon , the town discovered the incomprehensible reality that Tulloch and Parker, two of Chelsea's brightest and most popular sons, were now fugitives, wanted for the murders of Half and Susanne Zantop.
Authors Mitchell Zuckoff and Dick Lehr provide a vivid explication of a murder that captivated the nation, as well as dramatic revelations about the forces that turned two popular teenagers into killers. Judgement Ridge conveys a deep appreciation for the lives (and the devastating loss) of Half and Susanne Zantop, while also providing a clear portrait of the killers, their families, and their community –and, perhaps, a warning to any parent about what evil may lurk in the hearts of boys.
Wisconsin has been a farming state from its very beginnings. And though it's long been known as "the Dairy State," it produces much more than cows, milk, and cheese. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation.
The story of farming in Wisconsin is rich and diverse as well, and the threads of that story are related and intertwined. In this long-awaited volume, celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps examines everything from the fundamental influences of landscape and weather to complex matters of ethnic and pioneer settlement patterns, changing technology, agricultural research and education, and government regulations and policies. Along with expected topics, such as the cranberry industry and artisan cheesemaking, "Wisconsin Agriculture" delves into beef cattle and dairy goats, fur farming and Christmas trees, maple syrup and honey, and other specialty crops, including ginseng, hemp, cherries, sugar beets, mint, sphagnum moss, flax, and hops. Apps also explores new and rediscovered farming endeavors, from aquaculture to urban farming to beekeeping, and discusses recent political developments, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and its ramifications. And he looks to the future of farming, contemplating questions of ethical growing practices, food safety, sustainability, and the potential effects of climate change.
Featuring first-person accounts from the settlement era to today, along with more than 200 captivating photographs, "Wisconsin Agriculture" breathes life into the facts and figures of 150 years of farming history and provides compelling insights into the state's agricultural past, present, and future.
Gender is far from the primary concern of coworkers in crews. Far more important, Rolston finds, is protecting the safety of the entire crew and finding a way to treat each other well despite the stresses of their jobs. These miners share the burden of rotating shift work—continually switching between twelve-hour day and night shifts—which deprives them of the daily rhythms of a typical home, from morning breakfasts to bedtime stories. Rolston identifies the mine workers’ response to these shared challenges as a new sort of constructed kinship that both challenges and reproduces gender roles in their everyday working and family lives.
Crews’ expectations for coworkers to treat one another like family and to adopt an “agricultural” work ethic tend to minimize gender differences. And yet, these differences remain tenacious in the equation of masculinity with technical expertise, and of femininity with household responsibilities. For Rolston, such lingering areas of inequality highlight the importance of structural constraints that flout a common impulse among men and women to neutralize the significance of gender, at home and in the workplace.
At a time when the Appalachian region continues to dominate discussion of mining culture, this book provides a very different and unexpected view—of how miners live and work together, and of how their lives and work reconfigure ideas of gender and kinship.
The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another.
The Hewitts offer practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food on a small plot of land, and think about your farm, homestead, or home as an ecosystem. Much of what the Hewitts have come to understand and embrace about their lives of deep nourishment is informed by their particular piece of land and local community in northern Vermont, but what they have gleaned is readily transferable to any place—whether you live on 4 acres, 40 acres, or in a 400-square-foot studio apartment.
Ben and Penny (and their two sons) maintain copious gardens, dozens of fruit and nut trees and other perennial plantings, as well as a pick-your-own blueberry patch. In addition to these cultivated food crops, they also forage for wild edibles, process their own meat, make their own butter, and ferment, dry, and can their own vegetables. Their focus is to produce nutrient-dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and their immediate community. They are also committed to sharing the traditional skills that support their family, helping them be self-sufficient and thrive in these uncertain times.
Much of what the Hewitts are attempting on their homestead is to close the gaps that economic separation has created in our health, spirit, and skills. Ben uses the term “practiculture” to describe his family’s work with the land—a term that encompasses the many practical life skills and philosophies they embody to create a thriving homestead, including raw-milk production, soil remediation, wildcrafting, Weston A. Price principles, bionutrient-dense farming, permaculture, agroforestry, traditional Vermont hill farming, and more. The Nourishing Homestead also includes information on deep nutrition, the importance of good fats, and integrating children into the work of a homestead.
The Hewitts’ story is reminiscent of The Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, and is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders, or anyone seeking a simpler way of life and a deeper connection to the world.
The Horse Lover is Dayês personal history of the sanctuaryês vast enterprise, with its surprises and pleasures and its plentiful dangers, frustrations, and heartbreak. Dayês deep connection with the animals in his care is clear from the outset, as is his maverick philosophy of horse-whispering, with which he trained fifteen hundred wild horses. The Horse Lover weaves together Dayês recollections of his cowboying adventures astride some of his best horses, all of which taught him indispensable lessons about loyalty, perseverance, and hope. This heartfelt memoir reveals the Herculean task of balancing the requirements of the government with the needs of wild horses.
Susquehanna County, in the remote northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, is a community of stoic, low-income dairy farmers and homesteaders seeking haven from suburban sprawl—and the site of the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas deposit worth more than one trillion dollars. In The End of Country, journalist and area native Seamus McGraw opens a window on the battle for control of this land, revealing a conflict that pits petrodollar billionaires and the forces of corporate America against a band of locals determined to extract their fair share of the windfall—but not at the cost of their values or their way of life. Rich with a sense of place and populated by unforgettable personalities, McGraw tells a tale of greed, hubris, and envy, but also of hope, family, and the land that binds them all together.
“To tell a great story, you need a great story. Seamus McGraw . . . has lived a great story. . . . [He] is just one of its many characters—very real characters—caught up in a very human story in which they must make tough, life-altering decisions for themselves, their community, and ultimately their country.”—Allentown Morning Call
“Compelling . . . The End of Country is like a phone call from a close friend or relative living smack-dab in the middle of the Pennsylvania gas rush. . . . Anyone with even a passing interest in the [fracking debate should] read it.”—Harrisburg Patriot-News
“This cautionary tale should be required reading for all those tempted by the calling cards of easy money and precarious peace of mind.”—Tom Brokaw
“A page-turner . . . McGraw brings us to the front lines of the U.S. energy revolution to deliver an honest and humbling account that could hardly possess greater relevance.”—The Humanist
In One Small Farm, Craig Schreiner’s evocative color photographs capture one family as they maintain the rhythms and routines of small farm life near Pine Bluff, Wisconsin. “Milk in the morning and milk at night. Feed the cows and calves. Plant crops. Grind feed. Chop and bale hay. Cut wood. Clean the barn. Spread manure on the fields. Plow snow and split wood in winter. In spring, pick rocks from the fields. Cultivate corn. Pick corn. Harvest oats and barley. Help calves be born. Milk in the morning and milk at night.”
There’s much more to life on the farm than just chores, of course, and Schreiner captures the rhythms and richness of everyday life on the farm in all seasons, evoking both the challenges and the joys and providing viewers a window into a world that is quickly fading. In documenting the Lamberty family’s daily work and life, these thoughtful photos explore larger questions concerning the future of small farm agriculture, Wisconsin cultural traditions, and the rural way of life.
--The New York Times Book Review
On April 5, 2010, an explosion ripped through Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine, killing twenty-nine coal miners. This tragedy was the deadliest mine disaster in the United States in forty years—a disaster that never should have happened. These deaths were rooted in the cynical corporate culture of Massey and its notorious former CEO Don Blankenship, and were part of an endless cycle of poverty, exploitation, and environmental abuse that has dominated the Appalachian coalfields since coal was first discovered there. And the cycle continues unabated as coal companies bury the most insidious dangers deep underground, all in search of higher profits, and hide the true costs from regulators, unions, and investors alike.
But the disaster at Upper Big Branch goes beyond the coalfields of West Virginia. It casts a global shadow, calling into bitter question why coal miners in the United States are sacrificed to erect cities on the other side of the world, why the coal wars have been allowed to rage, polarizing the country, and how the world's voracious appetite for energy is satisfied at such horrendous cost.
With Thunder on the Mountain, Peter A. Galuszka pieces together the true story of greed and negligence behind the tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine, and in doing so he has created a devastating portrait of an entire industry that exposes the coal-black motivations that led to the death of twenty-nine miners and fuel the ongoing war for the world's energy future.
A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince’s hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does his father, Tilden, a hulking former All-American footballer, or his uncle, who has lost one of his legs to a chain saw. Only the memory of an unwanted child, buried in an undisclosed location, can hope to deliver this family from its sin.
The 1,400-mile extension of I-69 south from Indianapolis, if completed, will connect Canada to Mexico through Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. This so-called NAFTA highway has been in development for two decades, and while segments are under construction today, others may never be built. Eagerly anticipated by many as an economic godsend, I-69 has also been opposed by environmentalists, farmers, ranchers, anarchists, and others who question both the wisdom of building more highways and the merits of globalization.
Part history, part travelogue, Interstate 69 reveals the surprising story of how this extraordinary undertaking began, introduces us to the array of individuals who have worked tirelessly for years to build the road—or to stop it—and guides us through the many places the highway would transform forever: from sprawling cities like Indianapolis, Houston, and Memphis to the small rural towns of the Midwestern rust belt, the Mississippi Delta, and South Texas.
In an era when bridges fall, levies fail, and states lease their toll roads to foreign-owned corporations, Americans are realizing the central importance of infrastructure, how it affects our standard of living and quality of life and how it determines which places prosper and which places fade. This book illustrates vividly that the story of transportation is indeed the story of America—and that story continues.
Matt Dellinger connects these dots with an absorbingly human, on-the-ground examination of our country’s struggle with development. Interstate 69 captures the hopes, dreams, and fears surrounding what we build and what we leave behind.
Sam Skye Lee had often thought about getting married, but never imagined that her dress would be bright pink with flashing lights and weigh a staggering 20-stone. But then she didn't count on having a gypsy wedding...
It's rare for a 'gorger', or non-traveller, to marry into the gypsy community. But after a shocking childhood tragedy, Sam found the comfort she needed from an unxpected source - Patrick and his family of travellers.
Gypsy Bride is the heartwarming true story of how an ordinary girl finds herself discovering an extraordinary world. A place where 'grabbing' is a sign a boy fancies you, six-year-olds get spray tans, and christenings, weddings and funerals are jaw-droppingly flamboyant.
This love story is more than boy meets girl. It's about a girl who falls in love with a whole race of people and their wonderful ways.
Now an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010, when photographer Brandon Stanton set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories. The result of these efforts was a vibrant blog he called "Humans of New York," in which his photos were featured alongside quotes and anecdotes.
The blog has steadily grown, now boasting millions of devoted followers. Humans of New York is the book inspired by the blog. With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York.
Surprising and moving, Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of the city.
Harel Shapira lived with the Minutemen and patrolled the border with them, seeking neither to condemn nor praise them, but to understand who they are and what they do. Challenging simplistic depictions of these men as right-wing fanatics with loose triggers, Shapira discovers a group of men who long for community and embrace the principles of civic engagement. Yet these desires and convictions have led them to a troubling place.
Shapira takes you to that place--a stretch of desert in southern Arizona, where he reveals that what draws these men to the border is not simply racism or anti-immigrant sentiments, but a chance to relive a sense of meaning and purpose rooted in an older life of soldiering. They come to the border not only in search of illegal immigrants, but of lost identities and experiences.
First published as a lavish colour coffeetable book, this new expanded paperback edition has double the original number of contributions from many celebrities including Bill Bryson, Michael Palin, Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry, Sebastian Faulks, Kate Adie, Kevin Spacey, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Richard Mabey , Simon Jenkins, John Sergeant, Benjamin Zephaniah, Joan Bakewell, Antony Beevor, Libby Purves, Jonathan Dimbleby, and many more: and a new preface by HRH Prince Charles.
The Cardinals of Scott County High School were beloved once---and with good reason. For years, the boys and their legendary coach gave fans in central Kentucky, deep in the heart of basketball country, just what they wanted: state titles, national rankings, and countless trips to Kentucky's one-of-a-kind state tournament, where winning and losing can change a young man's life.
But in 2009, with the economy sputtering, anger rising, and Scott County mired in a two-year drought, fans had begun to lose faith in the boys. They weren't the heroes of Scott County anymore; they were "mini-athlete gods," haunted by dreams, burdened by expectations, and desperate to escape through the only means they knew: basketball.
In Outside Shot, Keith O'Brien takes us on an epic journey, from the bluegrass hills and broken homes of rural America, to inner-city Lexington, to Kentucky's most hallowed hall: Rupp Arena, where high school tournament games are known to draw twenty-thousand people, and where, for the players and their fans, it feels like anything is possible.
The narrative follows four of the team's top seniors and their coach as they struggle to redeem themselves in the face of impossible odds: once-loyal fans now turned against them, parents who demand athletic greatness, and scouts who weigh their every move. It delves deep inside the lives of the boys, their families, and their community---divided along lines of race, politics, religion, and sports. And it chronicles not only the high-stakes world of Kentucky basketball, but the battle for the soul of small-town America.
A story of inspiration and poignancy, filled with moments of drama on and off the court, Outside Shot shows that if it's hard to win basketball games, it can be even harder to win at life itself.
In this dramatic work of social history, Anthony F. C. Wallace re-creates St. Clair in those years when expectations collided with reality, when the coal trade was in chronic distress, exacerbated by the epic battles between the forces of labor and capital. As he did in his Bancroft Prize-winning Rockdale, Wallace uses public records and private papers to reconstruct the operation of an anthracite colliery and the life of a working-man’s town totally dependent upon it. He describes the labor hierarchy of the collieries, the communal spirit that sprang up in the outlying mine patches, the polyglot immigrant life in the taverns and churchs, and the workingmen’s societies that provided identity to the miners and gave relief to families in distress. He examines the birth of the first effective miners’ union and documents the escalating antagonism between Irish immigrant workers—mostly Catholic—and the Protestant middle classes who owned the collieries.
Wallace reveals the blindness, greed, and self-congratulation of the mine owners and operators. These “heroes” of the entrepreneurial wars disregarded geologists’ warnings that the coal seams south of St. Clair were virtually inaccessible and, at best, extremely costly to mine, and then blamed their economic woes on the lack of a high tariff on imported British iron. To cut costs, they ignored the most basic and safety engineering practices and then blamed “the careless miner” and “Irish hooligans” for the catastrophic accidents that resulted. In thrall to a great dream of wealth and power, they plunged ahead to bankruptcy while the miners paid with their lives.
St. Clair is a rich and illuminating work of scholarship—an engrossing portrait of a disaster-prone industry (a portrait that stands as a sober warning to the nuclear-power industry) and of the tragic hubris of a ruling class that brough ruin upon a Pennsylvania coal town at a crucial moment in its history.
—James Crumley, author of The Last Good Kiss
Born into a third generation of Montana homesteaders, Judy Blunt learned early how to “rope and ride and jockey a John Deere,” but also to “bake bread and can vegetables and reserve my opinion when the men were talking.” The lessons carried her through thirty-six-hour blizzards, devastating prairie fires and a period of extreme isolation that once threatened the life of her infant daughter. But though she strengthened her survival skills in what was—and is—essentially a man’s world, Blunt’s story is ultimately that of a woman who must redefine herself in order to stay in the place she loves.
Breaking Clean is at once informed by the myths of the West and powerful enough to break them down. Against formidable odds, Blunt has found a voice original enough to be called classic.
Accompanied by a cast of eccentric professors and an ensemble of aspiring veterinarians, this book reveals a world now lost to us, showing how life in pre-war Britain changed an enthusiastic young student named Alf Wight into the man who would charm millions of readers the world over.
The Killing of the Countryside is a devastating attack on modern British agricultural policy and practice and a plea for a return to natural cycles, an end to subsidies and the domination of agribusiness, and for a safe, sustainable farming system.
Winner of the 1997 BP Natural World Book Award.
The history of the subalterns, also known as the history of the voiceless, took currency in the early 1980s in South East Asia and has been dominated by scholars from that region. Despite its popularity, the history of the voiceless has not gained the attention it deserves in Cameroon historiography. In other parts of Africa and beyond this type of history has already taken root and animated scholarly production and debate. Cameroon history has been replete with studies that focus mostly on political history and the actions and intentions of top politicians of the day, with scant regard for the historical importance of the everyday life of ordinary Cameroonians as makers and breakers. This book takes a bold step in the direction of subaltern studies in Cameroon, and makes a clarion call for the institutionalization of voicing the voiceless. Nkwi - innovative and stimulating in his blend of history and ethnography of the everyday - offers fresh insights into the contextual understandings of subaltern Cameroon between 1958 and 2009. This is a welcome contribution to closing gaps in social history, from a leader amongst a budding new generation of historians of Cameroon and Africa.
China's development over the past 60 years has indicated that the livelihood of the people is a key factor in economic and social construction in contemporary China. Having sufficient food and clothing is the first step in improving the livelihood of the people. A higher level of well-being can be achieved only after the basic needs are met. This “higher level of well-being” comprises of employment as the foundation, education as the key point, income distribution as the source, social security as the support, and public safety as an assurance.
This book offers fresh perspectives by prestigious scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Based on a unique source of data which is available only to Chinese scholars, this book showcases key issues on people's livelihood and social construction in Contemporary China, including income disparity, social security system, employment situation, post-80s generation and so on.Contents:Introduction: The Changing Chinese Society (Li Peilin)The People's Livelihood in China (Li Peilin and Li Wei)China in the Mass Consumption Stage (Tian Feng)Characteristic and Change of Current Employment (Fan Lei)Urban and Rural Residents' Social Security (Zhang Liping)Urban and Rural Residents' Social Support (Diao Pengfei)Evolution Process and the Trend of Income Differential (Chen Guangjin)Children of the Reform and Opening Up (Tian Feng)
Readership: Undergraduates, graduates, academics and researchers who are interested in issues on people's livelihood and social construction in Contemporary China, including income disparity, social security system, employment situation and so on.
Keywords:Livelihood;Social Construction;People's Livelihood;Urban and Rural Residents;Mass Consumption;Employment;Social Security;Social Support;Chinese General Survey;New Growth StageKey Features:Fresh Chinese perspectives by prestigious scholars in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, based on unique sources of data which is available only to Chinese scholarsFirst English book based on the data collected in the Chinese General Social Survey (CSS)Elaborates key issues on the Chinese society from the perspective of people's livelihoodReviews:
“A major book to understand the next contemporary Chinese society.”Professor Laurence Roulleau-Berger
ENS LSH / Université Lumière Lyon 2
Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership is XIth in the series 'Land Reforms in India', initiated by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. The volume contains 14 well-researched chapters through which distinguished scholars look into the discrimination faced by women in various states of India. Highlighting the fact that different regions subject women to varied forms of discrimination, these chapters reveal that these emanate from various customs and practices, Shastric prescriptions and the Muslim personal laws (Shariat) which were crystallized during the British regime and further consolidated in the post-colonial period through various union, state and concurrent laws.
Apart from describing the discrimination that women are subjected to in terms of legal rights, the collection also proposes ways to counter the same and encourages debate on the current Indian socio-legal system. With its two-pronged concern—analysis of reform laws and their impact on gender—this book will be of interest to academics in fields such as development economics, land laws, gender/women studies and sociology, as well as to policy-makers and administrators.