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Razing Appalachia

In the misty folds of the Appalachian mountains lies Pigeonroost Hollow, in Blair, West Virginia. With its narrow creek and crawdads, its wild ginseng and raccoons, Pigeonroost looks as it might have a century ago -- a woody haven tucked away from time and technology. But for how long? And at what price?

In May 1998, Arch Coal, Inc. announced it would expand its Dal-Tex strip mine just above the small town of Blair. But lifetime residents said too many had already been bought out or chased away by the giant mine, and that Arch Coal's planned expansion was the final threat to their once-tranquil way of life. Forty families -- where there were once 300 -- stayed in Blair.

RAZING APPALACHIA is the story of their remarkable fight -- against the second-largest coal company in America, against the know-nothing state political leaders and, unhappily, against the 400 union miners whose jobs were on the line.

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