"This highly accessible and important work helps us think in new ways about the meaning of social change, economic development, and citizen resistance in Appalachia today."
—Stephen L. Fisher, editor of Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change
"History happens at the point where people affect events—or the point where events affect people. Through skillful editing, Crow shows us just how and when this occurs, taking us from the region's earliest days up to present time. These compelling Appalachian voices range across age, sex, and class, bringing the story to vivid life. This is the best account I've ever seen of contemporary Appalachian life—and the most cogent and comprehensive look at what's ahead. An often surprising and altogether indispensable book."
"Offers an unprecedented oral history of space and time . . . Stands as an admirable effort in pushing the boundaries of narrative, oral history, and ethnography."
"Do, Die, or Get Along makes a contribution to both the literature on the political economy of Appalachian America and our understanding of more general pathways to the industrialized world. The book flows smoothly (which is a credit to the editor), was a pleasure to read, and ought to be of interest to a wide variety of audiences, scholarly, and otherwise."
The speakers are men and women, wealthy and poor, black and white, old-timers and newcomers. Their concerns and interests range widely, including the battle over strip mining, efforts to control flooding, the 1989-90 Pittston strike, the nationally acclaimed Wetlands Estonoa Project, and the grassroots revitalization of both towns led by the St. Paul Tomorrow and Dante Lives On organizations. Their talk of the past often invokes an ethos, rooted in the hand-to-mouth pioneer era, of short-term gain. Just as frequently, however, talk turns to more recent times, when community leaders, corporations, unions, the federal government, and environmental groups have begun to seek accord based on what will be best, in the long run, for the towns.
The story of Dante and St. Paul, Crow writes, "gives twenty-first-century meaning to the idea of the good fight." This is an absorbing account of persistence, resourcefulness, and eclectic redefinition of success and community revival, with ramifications well beyond Appalachia.
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