"As a writer and radio correspondent who has worked in Appalachia, Jeff Biggers knows well the public history of our ruinous ﬂing with coal. That history became personal for him when a strip mine tore up the land in southern Illinois where his ancestors had lived for two hundred years.
On returning to the once-verdant site of the family homestead in the Eagle Creek Valley, he found “a lunar expanse of ruts and rocks and broken earth.” That wrenching spectacle provoked him to ask how much the pursuit of coal has cost, in human suffering and environmental havoc.
On the human side of the story, Biggers offers much that’s new, especially concerning events in the coalﬁelds of southern Illinois, where his grandfather worked in the pits, where strip mining began, where Mother Jones organized workers, and where some of our nation’s ﬁercest labor battles were fought."
The full story is here: http://www.orionmagazine.org/