Hidden America

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

By Jeanne Marie Laskas
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399159008, 318pp.)

Publication Date: September 13, 2012

List Price: $26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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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 think people know too much about the way the whole damn country works.”

Hidden America intends to fix that. Like John McPhee and Susan Orlean, Laskas dives deep into her subjects and emerges with character-driven narratives that are gripping, funny, and revelatory. In Hidden America, the stories are about the people who make our lives run every day—and yet we barely think of them.

Laskas spent weeks in an Ohio coal mine and on an Alaskan oil rig; in a Maine migrant labor camp, a Texas beef ranch, the air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a California landfill, an Arizona gun shop, the cab of a long-haul truck in Iowa, and the stadium of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders. Cheerleaders? Yes. They, too, are hidden America, and you will be amazed by what Laskas tells you about them: hidden no longer.




About the Author
Jeanne Marie Laskas is a columnist for The Washington Post Magazine, where her "Significant Others" essays appear weekly. A contributing writer at "Esquire," she also writes for "GQ," "Allure," "Redbook," "Good Housekeeping," "Health," and "This Old House," She is the author of The Balloon Lady and Other People I Know and We Remember: Women Born at the Turn of the Century Tell the Stories of Their Lives in Words and Pictures. She lives and farms with her husband and daughter, along with their poodle, mutts, mules, sheep, and other animals, at Sweetwater Farm in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania.
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