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Hidden America

From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People W ho Make This Country Work

Jeanne Marie Laskas

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

An Oprah.com "Must-Read Book"

In Hidden America, award-winning journalist Jeanne Marie Laskas dives deep into her subjects and emerges with character-driven stories about the people who make our lives run every day—and yet we barely think of them.

Take the men of Hopedale Mining company in Cadiz, Ohio. Laskas spent several weeks with them, both below and above ground, and by the end, you will know not only about their work, but about Pap and his dying mom, Smitty and the mail-order bride who stood him up at the airport, and Scotty and his thwarted dreams of becoming a boxing champion.

That is only one hidden world. Others that she explores: an Alaskan oil rig, a migrant labor camp in Maine, the air traffic control center at LaGuardia Airport in New York, a beef ranch in Texas, a landfill in California, a long-haul trucker in Iowa, a gun shop in Arizona, and the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders, mere footnotes in the moneymaking spectacle that is professional football.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 27, 2012 – In this thoroughly entertaining study of what some people do that other people would never do, journalist Laskas (The Balloon Lady and Other People I Knew) makes her subjects sing. She homes in on jobs that the rest of us take for granted—or deny exist—interviewing the people who perform and even like onerous tasks: coal miners, Latino migrant laborers, La Guardia air traffic controllers, Arizona gun dealers, Texas ranchers, Alaska oil-rig roughnecks, a rare female long-hauling trucker, and California landfill workers. Refreshingly, Laskas eschews sentimentality but imbues her portraits with humanity and authenticity: guided by veteran landfill workers, for example, she confronts a mountain of rubbish and learns all about the wonders of alternative electricity and recycling. Waddling through Hopedale Mining Company's Cadiz, Ohio coal tunnels, she gets lessons on pride in accomplishment from such workers as Pap, Ragu, and Foot. The Ben-Gal cheerleaders are shown to be disciplined professional women who, in their other lives, attend school and toil as single moms. Laskas's depictions are sharply delineated, fully fleshed, and enormously affecting.

Customer Reviews

Very Disappointing

What I thought would be an enlightened write up on "hidden" careers and work in America turn out to be little more than a rambling diary of the authors interview of individuals. Few interesting details or fact that are already well known. Very disappointed.

Hidden America
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Sep 13, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings