Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas
From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Jeanne Marie Laskas

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JEANNE MARIE LASKAS is the director of the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in many publications, including GQ, where her exploration of coal miners was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards, and The Washington Post Magazine, where her long-running weekly column, “Significant Others,” was the basis for a trilogy of memoirs. She lives in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania.
 
Published September 13, 2012 by Berkley. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Travel. Non-fiction
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Kirkus Reviews

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Both of these pieces are enjoyable, however, and the author succeeds in capturing the attitudes, concerns, experiences and sometimes the private lives of workers that most readers are unlikely to come into contact with.

Jul 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Aug 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

Kirkus Reviews

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This crap “Joe the Plumber” that was just totally made up, the reason that got such play is because people wanted to hear from the real Joe the Plumber, whoever he is out there, and they never did—they got a puppet… Those working-class people virtually have no voice…and they’re not described acc...

Sep 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

Star Tribune

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Based on firsthand reports from mines, migrant labor camps, gun shops, landfills, cattle ranches, oil rigs and truck stops, "Hidden America" provides a richly detailed, revealing and often riveting account of Americans at work.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

Washington Independent Review of Books

A coal mine greets you with only one sentiment, then hammers it: This is not a place for people.” Further, stuck in Alaska for two weeks with a crew on a manmade ice island in temperatures 45 degrees below zero, she wonders over and over how the workers can stand the cold and the isolation in a ...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Publisher: Putnam Adult Product Description Five hundred feet underground, Jeanne Marie Laskas asked a coal miner named Smitty, “Do you think it’s weird that people know so little about you?” He replied, “I don’t thin...

Sep 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

AuthorsDen

She also interviews migrant workers, NFL cheerleaders, air traffic controllers, gun dealers, red angus ranchers, Alaskan oil rig workers, a female truck driver, and land fill workers.

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TCPalm / AP

The cages were not made to house polar bears but rather to provide refuge for oil rig workers when they spot a bear.

Oct 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

Washingtonian

In her new book, Hidden America, former Washington Post Magazine columnist Jeanne Marie Laskas delivers nine stories that offer glimpses into the lives of people who break a sweat earning a living in this country.

Sep 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Hidden America: From Coal Min...

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Keith Latham 8 May 2014

Interesting read about a lady who goes to different jobs throughout America and tells small stories about their lives and work environment. Some segments of the book are more entertaining than othe...

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Keith Latham

Keith Latham 8 May 2014

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