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LOWELL- During the 1960's, social activism was a hallmark in the streets of Washington, Boston, San Francisco-and Leslie County, Kentucky.
According to a new book by UMass Lowell History Prof. Chad Montrie titled, "To Save the Land and the People," the tranquil foothills of Appalachia were a breeding ground for grassroots militancy throughout the flower power era.
"Small farmers, deep miners, homemakers and mothers all banded together to fight the menace of surface coal mining," Montrie writes.
Montrie's book traces the history of Appalachian strip mining and the movement to abolish it. He chronicles the rise and fall of civil disobedience and industrial sabotage, including dynamiting equipment and blocking oncoming trucks and bulldozers.
Deep mining is probably the type most people think of when they picture mining. The advantage that strip mining has over deep mining is a more cost-effective method. But its impact on the environment, and the communities within it, can be devastating.
A recent item in The New Yorker magazine said that Montrie's book "chronicles resistance to surface mining in Appalachia, as companies left behind gutted communities that were no more than 'rural slums'."