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5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent book. Has my families history in it
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2015
Excellent book. Has my families history in it. Even mentions my Mother and her father by name. Some of the information is not told as it actually happened in the Clay County Wars but most of it is correct. To bad the author couldn't have been able to interview more of the people who's stories he told in the book. My mother was still alive at the time he wrote this book. Otherwise, the book is very well written.
4.0 out of 5 starsSome light on the "Days of Darkness"
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2013
Very informative book on some of the more brutal events, and characters that help define the Culture. Book has an approach that is far different from the short, myoptic, broad stroke view of the Culture that is often portrayed by others.. Book is an easy read, but following the cast of characters and some of their exploits does take some effort. Book would be a good addition to the libary of any Civl War/U.S History buffs.
Book was mentioned in the book "Outliers: The Story of Success" written by Malcolm Gladwell; in particular his comments on the subject of "honor cultures".
Since I am doing my ancestry and that does include some folks in this book. I have researched a lot of families and I find this to be the most accurate account with compared to the records I have, "as accurate as possible under that time period and location". I read some reviews before I purchased it and have some friends that gave me there opinion but it surely helps with my research and those families, as I stated including mine. I read excerpts from other book accounts but this is by far the best. Enjoy and even though I had to go back and read some of it again to follow the characters, this is a well written document of that time period.
5.0 out of 5 starsA good study of the feuds of Kentucky
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2012
I enjoyed this book a great deal. The author covers the feuds or wars of eastern Kentucky from the time the area was settled until the last of the feuds died out in the 1930's. I was somewhat familiar with some of them, some of them not so much. It covers the Hatfield McCoy feud though not in as much detail as other books dealing only with the one subject. It covers others in much more detail. For example the Clay County War lasted almost a full century from the start to the final acts. Honestly the Hatfield McCoy feud was fairly insignificant compared to some of the others but the Hatfield McCoy feud in it's final days caught the attention of the sensationalist, yellow newspapers of the day while the others didn't. This book gives good coverage to the ones that aren't well known. The author really gives a good flavor of life in the area during this time when eastern Kentucky had the highest murder rate in the country. Good church going, civic minded community leaders shooting each other from ambush. The author readily states that he was hard pressed to find heros in any of this. These feuds were not fought by ignorant, barefoot, backwoods hillbilles but for the most part by the leading citizens because they were mostly about money and power - revenge certainly played a role but money and power seemed to be the driver. It's a good reference work as well as a very entertaining read. The author writes with humor with such things as an election day being fairly calm with relatively few gun fights. The author freely says in many cases there are different versions of what happened in a particular instance. In some case he offers an opinion as to what happened. In others he simply states the different versions and that there seems to be no way to know now exacty what happened. If you're a history buff, it's a very enjoyable read and a good book for later reference.
5.0 out of 5 starsDays Of Darkness-Truth is more intersting than Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2012
A rich look at a period of time in a region where the law of the feud was the final statement. The Author, John Ed Pearce, does an excellent job of providing detail along with readability. He also strips any romanticism away, and is not shy about assessing character. Pearce also makes it plain that these feuds were not the product of dumb hillbillies, but were usually between the two affluent and influential families/groups withing a certain geographical area.
After watching the Hatfield-McCoy feud on the History Channel, I became interested in this subject/time period. While the history channel had a decent presentation of the Feud, Pearce brings more stark facts - which I'll leave to people to read for themselves.
I often judge a book by it's re-readability and this is a book I will treasure in my collection and read repeatably.
Excellent book that seems to accurately cover most all the details of East. Kentucky feuds up to around 1900. I was surprised at the amount of lawlessness and violence in that area. Interesting how often the courthouses were scenes of shoot outs and killings.. often with the local law being part of one clan or another. All in all a great read that will also clear up a number of misconceptions and half-truths regarding the feuds of Eastern Kentucky.