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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 American experience: the historical nightmare of coal outside of Appalachia, serving as an exposé of a secret legacy of shame and resiliency.



About the Author

Jeff Biggers

Jeff Biggers is an American Book Award-winning historian, journalist and playwright. He is the author of several works of memoir/history/theatre, including the forthcoming Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall, and State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream, selected as a Top Ten Book in Social Sciences by Publishers Weekly, Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, winner of the Delta Award for Literature and the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting, The United States of Appalachia, and In the Sierra Madre, recipient of the ForeWord Magazine Travel Book of the Year Award. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and national public radio programs, including NPR, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation and The Guardian. He blogs frequently for the Huffington Post. His website is www.jeffbiggers.com
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