Books: Lost Mountain by Erik Reece

When we read about this book for the first time in Men's Journal, we were intrigued by the reviewers words: "Reading Lost Mountain is like grabbing a hot electrical wire — it fills you with fire, and makes you want to scream like hell." It was added to our must-read list. The coal mining industry has long been the economic backbone for families in a region that is hard-pressed for job opportunities. But a new type of mining has been introduced called "radical strip mining," in which a team employing no more than ten men and some heavy machinery literally blast off the top of a mountain, dump it in the valley below, and scoop out the coal. Erik Reece, a first-time author, takes us through one year, from October 2003 through November 2004, of how strip miners sheared away the top of Kentucky's Lost Mountain. Early American hunters would get lost in this great forest, among the songbirds, fox, deer and other wildlife. Now, Lost Mountain only exists on outdated maps because, well, it's gone. The summit was blasted off and the coal was sucked out and Reece chronicles the year that he spent witnessing the death (or murder) of this mountain in Appalachia. "At least 700 miles of healthy streams have been buried," Reece writes. "Creeks run orange with sulfuric acids and heavy metals and thousands more have been polluted." This is one book you don't want to miss. Available at Via ::Men's Journal