Carbon County, USA
Make Labor History Great Again
From the blog…
Carbon County, USA is a 2020 book released by the University of Utah Press. You can buy it here. If you like what this project about and you’d like to help it succeed, please consider leaving a review of it on Amazon. If you’re interested in the topic, updates about book events and offshoots of its research are periodically posted here and on social media.
2020 has been a heck of a year for a new author to launch a new book!
This project has embraced controversy, multiple perspectives, and conflict from its inception, yet it never anticipated that the world would change so radically during the course of its development.
There are many voices out there, talking passionately about energy, presidencies, agendas, what is or isn’t real, what is or isn’t safe, who’s trying to do what with whom, where power comes from and who ought to better wield it, etc. With the Sun Advocate‘s practical closure, Carbon County, Utah has lost what for over a century was an essential foundation of democratic discussion, debate, and accountability. With international journalistic standards eroding as steadily as a locked-down country’s mental health; social media algorithms, sensational clickbait, and polarized political positive-feedback loops have plunged our civilization’s civil and moral fabric into “recommended” netherworlds of isolation and addiction, fear mongering and lies.
As Tom Waits once observed, “bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering. It cheapens and degrades the human experience, when it should inspire and elevate.”
Talk, like type, is cheap. Unlike some other “authors” out there, I have learned to forge my facts from footnotes, and process popular passions through the lens of peer review. My windows into worlds of fossil fueled-feminism, Dickensian villains, Homeric heroes, vanishing pensions and pensioners, and American labor unions in all their radical, dogged, reformed, and corrupt varieties have been refined, marinated, pressure-cooked, cleansed, polished, and presented over a decade of tedious, back-breaking, and illuminating primary source research, data processing, and revision.
Submitted for your approval, of the stories behind our stories, I do with pride and confidence at last present this blog. I hope, one day, we will live to meet and share our ruminations over coal mining history, social class and power, strip mines and the sage-grouse, identity’s nuances at the long-wall face and the origins and decline of American modernity in person. Until then I hope this format finds you well. I trust I can be able to look forward to to hear your feedback – positive or otherwise.
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My name is Christian Wright. I am a historian and a boatman living in Moab, Utah. I like rivers, public lands, mining, energy, social justice, dogs, and I’m really interested in the New Deal era and the 1970s-1980s. I’m trying to figure out how those worlds came to be and whatever happened to them.