Here are some links to interviews and reviews for my new book, So Much To Be Angry About: Appalachian Movement Press and DIY Radical Publishing, 1969-1979, just released on WVU Press this past March! You can buy copies of the book from us at Justseeds, or if we’re sold out you can go straight to the publisher for your copy.
This book has everything from rad lefty activists in Appalachia with a noisy printing press, a children’s book about strip mining, labor songs, the story of a militant Christian communist preacher/poet/union organizer, some stuff about how we can stop talking about Appalachia like it was vacant when white settlers arrived, the story of the FIRST feminist magazine in central Appalachia, highlights on brave anti-corruption journalists in the region in the 1970s, some pro-union “long-hairs” living on a mountain in Mingo County, WV churning out an amazing magazine, grim details about the Buffalo Creek Disaster and the company that dodged blame for it, a brief analysis of the Appalachian Identity movement as it pertains to race, and more! Seriously I crammed a lot in here, and Than Saffel and the staff at WVU Press really didn’t cut any corners on design and production: this book is beautiful and kinda hefty!
I really like what Derek, Director over at WVU Press, had to say about the book (from the Seminary Co-op interview linked below):
“The day Shaun Slifer’s research about Appalachian Movement Press first went live in 2017 (in a blog piece that would go on to become his tremendous article in Signal), it felt like half of Appalachia sent me the link. This was the good stuff—a detective story, an activist story, a story about books and publishing. Plus, everything looked so cool. Shaun and I exchanged emails and didn’t, at first, connect on turning his essay into a book. But I met him in person not long afterward, at an event for our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead hosted by White Whale Books near Shaun’s home in Pittsburgh, and good things—as they often do, when they’re based on conversations at bookstores—sprung into being. I’m so glad Shaun trusted us to publish this book, and I hope we’ve done it in a way that would make our predecessors at Appalachian Movement Press proud.” –Derek Krissoff, Director, West Virginia University Press
I’ll be updating this roundup as more reviews and interviews are published!
In early 2022, I wrote an essay for Viewpoint Magazine that profiles an AMP booklet that I didn’t get to dive into in the book, and I also build on some themes from the book’s third chapter: 1,500,000 Gas Masks: Appalachia as a Resource Colony in Rod Harless & Dan Cutler’s The Hillbillys: A Book for Children
Eric Kerl wrote a great review of the book for 100 Days in Appalachia, where he really grabs hold of the political angle of what Appalachian Movement Press was doing in their time.
I did an email Q&A about the research and the book that appeared on the blog for Chicago’s Seminary Co-op bookshop.
There’s a really nice review up at the C&RL (the official scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association) by Richelle Brown at University of North Georgia.
Mason Adams at Inside Appalachia recorded a short segment with me for their podcast, and also posted a nice summary of the interview on their blog.
Before the release, I had a nice chat with Renee Nicholson for the new Short Talks video series at the Humanities Center at West Virginia University.
Gonzalo Baeza wrote a nice, short review of the book over at the West Virginia Independent Observer.
Skylit, the podcast coming out of LA’s Skylight Books, recorded this episode that features Josh MacPhee (who wrote an excellent intro to the book) and myself in discussion about Appalachian Movement Press and their role in 1970s movement generally.