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Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Cultural historian Jeff Biggers takes us to the dark amphitheatre ruins of his family’s nearly 200-year-old hillside homestead that has been strip-mined on the edge of the first federally recognized Wilderness Site in southern Illinois. In doing so, he not only comes to grips with his own denied backwoods heritage, but also chronicles a dark and missing chapter in the Amer ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Nation Books (first published 2009)
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David
May 02, 2010 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
This book is a good overview of the history of coal mining in Illinois, but its main focus is the region of southern Illinois around Eagle Creek. Just south of Eagle Creek, the Shawnee National Forest holds some of the most beautiful land in Illinois. I've hiked through a lot of that land over the last 20 years but I never knew the ravages of the coal industry were so close. This book was a real eye-opener for me.

A few minor complaints: a book which describes the importance of place should real
...more
Nancy
Everyone from southern Illinois should buy and read this book.

Everyone from north of I-70 who likes to snort haughtily and feel superior to those from southern Illinois, dismissed as hillbillies, should buy and read this book. You might learn something.

Everyone who's heard of this FutureGen foolishness being crammed down our throats here in Illinois should buy and read this book.

Everyone who fails to understand why unions matter should buy and read this book.

Everyone who refuses to get out of t
...more
Alan Mills
Excellent history of the battle between big coal and the people of Southern Illinois. Whites were first drawn to Southern Illinois by salt. Coal was readily available, and was useful in processing the salt. But with the industrial revolution, the extraction of coal became the priority.

Southern Illinois lead the radical organized resistance nationally by coal miners against coal company exploitation. Mother Jones started her long career as an organizer in Southern Illinois and insisted on being b
...more
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