Twilight in Hazard: An Appalachian Reckoning

Alan Maimon. Melville House, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61219-885-9
Journalist Maimon (Hits and Misses in the Baseball Draft) delivers an empathetic portrait of eastern Kentucky informed by the five years (from 2000 to 2005) he spent in the poverty-stricken region as a “foreign correspondent” for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Among other noteworthy news events, Maimon documents the explosion of the opioid epidemic, the decline of the coal mining industry, and legal battles fought between the ACLU and conservative legal groups over the display of biblical texts in eastern Kentucky schools and government offices. Contending that Americans must “combat the notion that people and places are irredeemable,” Maimon highlights his experiences getting to know the people of the area, including a gregarious small town mayor and a group of pumped-up evangelical Christians on their way to a Billy Graham crusade. He also offers behind-the-scenes details about the Courier-Journal’s struggles to survive in the internet era, and makes clear how difficult the “shrinking” of coverage, as well as page size, were for journalists and readers alike. Throughout, Maimon’s hope for the region is tempered by an awareness of how difficult it will be to defeat “the historical and structural forces that keep people in poverty.” Though the overarching themes are familiar, Maimon’s sharp observations and personal stake in the subject make this a standout account of what ails rural America. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2021
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-61219-997-9
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