Title: They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History
By: Alessandro Portelli
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2011
#Kentucky #CoalMiner #BookReview
They Say in Harlan County is oral history at its best. Told by more than 150 voices who gave first-hand accounts as to what it was like being a coal miner in eastern Kentucky while trying to organize a union and who talked about everyday life that included traditions and cultures.
The book gives a glimpse into the American psyche and is a history of class, drugs, labor wars, poverty, racism, and segregation.
"Harlan is the only place in this country where I hear the word class on the lips of someone who is not an academic." ~Portelli, page 9
Alessandro Portelli is an Italian scholar of American literature and culture. He brings to this oral history an eye-opening account of eastern Kentucky from the days of Daniel Boone to publication of this book in 2011.
There are 46 pages of notes at the end of the book pointing the reader to resources used during research. The book also has a 22-page index.
This book is recommended for anyone who is interested in culture and traditions of the Appalachia area of the United States.