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Big Coal


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About the Author

JEFF GOODELL is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Our Story: 77 Hours That Tested Our Friendship and Our Faith. Goodell's memoir, Sunnyvale: The Rise and Fall of a Silicon Valley Family, was a New York Times Notable Book.


The author of the best-selling Our Story, about nine miners caught underground, begs to differ with President Bush's assertion that coal is the way to go. Tragically relevant; with a six-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"[A] compelling indictment of one of the country's biggest, most powerful and most antiquated industries . . . well-written, timely and powerful." The New York Times

"Big Coal gives its readers a clear sense of the tradeoffs we face in our feverish quest for inexpensive energy, and that's more than enough for one book." --Book World The Washington Post "Big Coal's greatest strength lies in Goodell's ability to tell human stories -- how individuals, families and communities are affected by the mining, production, and consumption of coal." --Rocky Mountain News "Goodell's writing [is] so fiery and committed." The New York Times Book Review "Without overloading the reader with scientific jargon or overhwelming statistical information, Goodell does a first-rate job of balancing environmental concerns with interviews from the human faces associated with 'Big Coal.'" Library Journal "Groundbreaking." Bookpage "Most people don't know it yet, but whether the world can continue to burn coal is one of the most important questions of the twenty-first century. Big Coal is a major contribution to getting the answer right. Smart, fair, impassioned, and very well written, this is a book that matters." --Mark Hertsgaard, author of Earth Odyssey "Jeff Goodell's incisive, gripping firsthand report on the second coming of King Coal impacts everyone and everything on earth." --Ralph Nader "Lucid, penetrating, and long overdue, Big Coal should be required reading for anyone, from policymakers to consumers, who wants to understand what really drives energy politics in America." --Paul Roberst, author of The End of Oil "Big Coal is an absorbing, urgently important book. Jeff Goodell does a marvelous job exposing the hidden workings of a deeply entrenched industry and showing how our use of coal poses a grave threat to our collective future." --Barbara Freese, author of Coal: A Human History "Long after we have run out of oil and natural gas, we will still have coal. As Jeff Goodell compellingly documents, this is a blessing that is also a curse. Big Coal should be read by anybody who owns a microwave, or an iPod, or a table lamp, which is to say everyone." --Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes From A Catastrophe "Jeff Goodell's Big Coal is a rousing job of narrative journalism that cuts through the smog of delusion clouding America's energy future, a fascinating and frightening glimpse into the hidden power circuts of American industry and politics." --James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

After a generation out of the spotlight, coal has reasserted its centrality: the United States "burn[s] more than a billion tons" per year, and since 9/11 and the Iraq war, independence from foreign oil has become positively patriotic. Rolling Stone contributing editor Goodell's last book, the bestselling Our Story, was about a mine accident, which clearly made a deep impression on him. Our reliance on coal-the unspoken foundation of our "information" economy-has, Goodell says, led to an "empire of denial" that blocks us from the investments necessary to find alternative energy sources that could eventually save us from fossil fuel. Goodell's description of the mining-related deaths, the widespread health consequences of burning coal and the impact on our planet's increasingly fragile ecosystem make for compelling reading, but such commonplace facts are not what lift this book out of the ordinary. That distinction belongs to Goodell's fieldwork, which takes him to Atlanta, West Virginia, Wyoming, China and beyond-though he also has a fine grasp of the less tangible niceties of the industry. Goodell understands how mines, corporate boardrooms, commodity markets and legislative chambers interrelate to induce a national inertia. Goodell has a talent for pithy argument-and the book fairly crackles with informed conviction. (June 8) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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