Search - List of Books by Harry M. Caudill
Harry M. Caudill (May 3, 1922, Whitesburg, Kentucky - November 29, 1990) was an American author, historian, lawyer, legislator, and environmentalist from Letcher County, in the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky.
He served in World War II and was elected three times as to the Kentucky State House of Representatives. He taught in the History Department at the University of Kentucky from 1976 to 1984.
A common theme explored in many of Caudill's writings is the historic underdevelopment of the Appalachian region (particularly his own home area of southeastern Kentucky). In several of his books (most prominently Night Comes to the Cumberlands, 1962) and many of his published articles, he probes the historical poverty of the region, which he attributes in large part to the rapacious policies of the coal mining industries active in the region, as well as their backers: bankers of the northeastern United States. He notes that such interests most often had their headquarters not in Appalachia but in the Northeast or Midwest, and thus failed to properly reinvest their sizable profits in the Appalachian region. Following publication of "Night Comes to the Cumberlands," President John F. Kennedy appointed a commission to investigate conditions in the region and subsequently more than $15 billion in aid was invested in the region over twenty-five years.
In his later years he became an active opponent of the rapidly growing practice of strip mining, which he believed was causing irreparable harm to the land and its people. He spoke out and published in many magazines about the subject.
He also produced several volumes of folklore and oral history, which he collected himself from residents of the area centering around Letcher County and Harlan County, Kentucky.
Caudill killed himself with a gunshot to the head in 1990, faced with an advancing case of Parkinson's Disease.The Harry M. Caudill Library located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, the main library of the Letcher County Public Library District, is named for Caudill.
Total Books: 17
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