Title

To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice. By Jessica Wilkerson. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2019. 280 pp. 978-0-252-08390-7 (Softcover) $27.95. 978-0-252-04218-8 (Hardcover) $99.00. 978-0-252-05092-3 (e-Book) $14.95.

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

1-10-2020

Publication Title

The Oral History Review

First page number:

1

Last page number:

2

Abstract

The American public “discovered” poverty in the early 1960s, and the face of poverty was the Appalachian coal miner. Devastated by black lung disease, jobs lost to technological innovations, and environmental disasters caused by mountain-top removal, the coal miner exemplified to the public the face of working-class poverty: weakened, dependent, and isolated. Wilkerson challenges this portrayal in her deeply-sourced and engaging history of local women activists who led many of the movements linked to the aforementioned problems. Rather than a dependent Appalachia, the women’s agency and persistence took them from supporting miners’ strikes to women’s rights and community health. The narratives of these women, Wilkerson argues, revise our understanding of the histories of US women, the working-class, and poverty with a new analysis of gender and class in a region usually associated with male miners.

Disciplines

History

Language

English


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