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Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2018
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Description

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General NonfictionIn Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom's impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman's transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors' mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children's illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what's really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that's being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/12/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374713713
ASIN:
B077MSFXTJ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Eliza Griswold. (2018). Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Eliza Griswold. 2018. Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Eliza Griswold, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Eliza Griswold. Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Eliza Griswold, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of a collection of poems, Wideawake Field (FSG, 2007) and a nonfiction book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (FSG, 2010), a New York Times bestseller that was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She has worked with Seamus Murphy in Africa and Asia for more than a decade. She lives in New York City.
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Amity and Prosperity
fullDescription

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom's impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman's transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors' mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children's illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what's really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that's being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 14, 2018
        Journalist Griswold (The Tenth Parallel) comprehensively examines the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit that Stacey Haney, a nurse and single mother, filed against energy company Range Resources. The book opens with an account of the shale gas boom of the mid-2000s, when fracking (hydraulic fracturing) brought unexpected windfalls to financially distressed towns on the border of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, including Haney’s hometown, Amity, and the neighboring town of Prosperity in rural Pennsylvania. Residents welcomed the money from mineral leases, using it to pay for needed roofs and fences. Haney did, too, until her son, Hartley, was hospitalized for fatigue and tested positive for high levels of arsenic in his blood, which they believed was due to runoff from the fracking on a nearby property. When Haney and her daughter, Paige, got tested, they too were diagnosed with arsenic poisoning. The community reacted to the news and Haney’s subsequent lawsuit with suspicion and animosity, accusing Haney of “acting out of hysteria.” Griswold combines Haney’s perspective with those of her attorneys, John Smith and Kendra Smith, during the years-long legal saga, which was settled for an undisclosed amount in early 2018. With empathy and diligence, Griswold brings attention to the emotional and financial tolls Haney and her family endured in this revealing portrait of rural America in dire straits.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2018
        Griswold (The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, 2010, etc.) immerses herself with a few Pennsylvania families in rural areas near Pittsburgh to chronicle their life-threatening battles against the fracking industry.To extract natural gas deposits from deep within the ground, giant energy companies employ processes and chemicals that can disseminate dangerous substances into drinking water sources and into the air. The author, an extraordinarily versatile wordsmith as a poet, translator, and journalist, visited a region of Pennsylvania that had become a fracking crossroads. At a meeting of concerned citizens receiving payments for fracking on their land but angry about unforeseen environmental degradation, Griswold met Stacey Haney. A lifelong citizen of Amity--near the nearly depopulated town of Prosperity--Haney, a nurse, has been worried that harmful elements from the fracking process have yielded chronic illnesses in herself and her children. Neither Haney nor most of her neighbors wanted to become social activists (many of them usually vote Republican and support Donald Trump). However, the increasing financial debt of the citizens from both towns, combined with the puzzling chronic ailments, led them to hire a team of lawyers to craft a court challenge or at least force the state's environmental protection agency to halt fracking operations of for-profit corporations. Because no scientific consensus has emerged about the societal benefits versus the public health hazards of fracking, the Haneys, as well as the other plaintiffs, worry that they will never prevail on technical grounds. Surprisingly, several Pennsylvania courts ruled against the fracking industry, but the Haneys and other plaintiffs received little in the way of tangible benefits. As the author inserts herself into the narrative about one-third of the way through, she becomes a character with apparent sympathies for the individual plaintiffs and their hardworking lawyers, but her reporting is, for the most part, evenhanded.A solid addition to the burgeoning literature on the social and health-related effects of fracking.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2018
        The names Amity and Prosperity conjure up images of tranquility and abundance, and, indeed, historically, the good life was found within these southwestern Pennsylvania towns. Where once coal was king, now hydraulic fracking rules the day, with mining companies competing for rights to drill into the Marcellus Shale's abundant natural-gas reserves. Along with other landowners, single-mother Stacey Haney wrestled with her conscience before signing a lease with Range Resources to drill on her land. She was working multiple jobs to raise two teens and running a farm on her own, so the promised windfall would have been welcome. But when her son manifests a series of inexplicable ailments and farm animals unexpectedly die, Haney painstakingly traces the source of the illnesses back to the water and air pollution generated by the fracking sites. Stonewalled by the mining company, shunned by her community, Haney only finds hope and help with a husband-and-wife legal team willing to take on this powerful adversary. Griswold's (The Tenth Parallel, 2010) empathetic yet analytical account of Haney's indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-�raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2018

        Fracking, the extraction of natural gas from rocks up to one mile deep, made some residents of the small, impoverished western Pennsylvania towns of Amity and Prosperity, rich, while others became victims of potentially fatal environmental hazards. Griswold (The Tenth Parallel) offers a compelling portrayal of Stacey Haney and her fight against fracking operation Range Resources, whose secretive activities unleashed airborne toxins and poisoned ponds that killed Haney's farm animals, sickened neighbors, and nearly took the life of her son, Harley. Deep research into court records and interviews with family members and neighbors, many of whom turned against Haney, a single mother and nurse, make for a compelling family tragedy narrative. Descriptions of the various individuals are memorable, although Griswold's recounting of Haney v. Range Resources (2013) gets bogged down in detail. This precedent-setting trial was not decided until 2018. VERDICT An important addition to the emerging genre of works about fracking and its environmental and human costs. This will find large audiences among concerned citizens and warrants the attention of public officials as well as fans of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy.--Karl Helicher, formerly with Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2018

        Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize for her New York Times best-selling The Tenth Parallel, Griswold makes fracking up-front and personal by taking us to impoverished Amity, PA, where lifetime resident Stacey Haney initially welcomed the cash fracking brought. Then animals began to die, inexplicable illnesses struck, and Haney took it upon herself to uncover corporate wrongdoing.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom's impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman's transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors' mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children's illnesses, Haney joins with...

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One Family and the Fracturing of America
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