|Amity and Prosperity : One Family and the Fracturing of America
|7 "One Head & One Heart, & Live In True Friendship & Amity As One People"||62||(6)|
|12 "Mr. And Mrs. Atticus Finch"||105||(18)|
|22 Ruin Is The Destination Toward Which All Men Rush||193||(7)|
|24 Ignorant Motherfuckers||208||(11)|
|PART III THE RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR AND PURE WATER|
|27 The Right To Clean Air And Pure Water||235||(8)|
|29 Closing Down The Ponds||248||(11)|
|31 "The Junkyard Plaintiff"||266||(4)|
|Epilogue: White Hats||289||(12)|
|A Note On Sources||307||(2)|
The award-winning author of The Tenth Parallel explores the costs of fracking as demonstrated by the volatile personalities and politics of a rural Allegheny town where an unlikely whistle-blower tried to investigate the sources of mysterious local illnesses.
Eliza Griswold, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of a collection of poems, Wideawake Field (FSG, 2007), and a nonfiction book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (FSG, 2010), a New York Times bestseller that was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She is the translator of I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan (FSG, 2015).
*Starred Review* The names Amity and Prosperity conjure up images of tranquility and abundance, and, indeed, historically, the good life was found within these southwestern Pennsylvania towns. Where once coal was king, now hydraulic fracking rules the day, with mining companies competing for rights to drill into the Marcellus Shale's abundant natural-gas reserves. Along with other landowners, single-mother Stacey Haney wrestled with her conscience before signing a lease with Range Resources to drill on her land. She was working multiple jobs to raise two teens and running a farm on her own, so the promised windfall would have been welcome. But when her son manifests a series of inexplicable ailments and farm animals unexpectedly die, Haney painstakingly traces the source of the illnesses back to the water and air pollution generated by the fracking sites. Stonewalled by the mining company, shunned by her community, Haney only finds hope and help with a husband-and-wife legal team willing to take on this powerful adversary. Griswold's (The Tenth Parallel, 2010) empathetic yet analytical account of Haney's indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Griswold (The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, 2010, etc.) immerses herself with a few Pennsylvania families in rural areas near Pittsburgh to chronicle their life-threatening battles against the fracking industry. To extract natural gas deposits from deep within the ground, giant energy companies employ processes and chemicals that can disseminate dangerous substances into drinking water sources and into the air. The author, an extraordinarily versatile wordsmith as a poet, translator, and journalist, visited a region of Pennsylvania that had become a fracking crossroads. At a meeting of concerned citizens receiving payments for fracking on their land but angry about unforeseen environmental degradation, Griswold met Stacey Haney. A lifelong citizen of Amity—near the nearly depopulated town of Prosperity—Haney, a nurse, has been worried that harmful elements from the fracking process have yielded chronic illnesses in herself and her children. Neither Haney nor most of her neighbors wanted to become social activists (many of them usually vote Republican and support Donald Trump). However, the increasing financial debt of the citizens from both towns, combined with the puzzling chronic ailments, led them to hire a team of lawyers to craft a court challenge or at least force the state's environmental protection agency to halt fracking operations of for-profit corporations. Because no scientific consensus has emerged about the societal benefits versus the public health hazards of fracking, the Haneys, as well as the other plaintiffs, worry that they will never prevail on technical grounds. Surprisingly, several Pennsylvania courts ruled against the fracking industry, but the Haneys and other plaintiffs received little in the way of tangible benefits. As the author inserts herself into the narrative about one-third of the way through, she becomes a character with apparent sympathies for the i n dividual plaintiffs and their hardworking lawyers, but her reporting is, for the most part, evenhanded. A solid addition to the burgeoning literature on the social and health-related effects of fracking. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.