Hard Places

Hard Places

Reading the Landscape of America's Historic Mining Districts
Foreword Author(s): 

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257 pages, 60 photos, 5 drawings, 14 maps

"An authoritative and well-written account of mining's legacy on the landscape and mining's historical relation to the economy, environment, and people."—Choice

"A sensitive and lucid blending of a broad spectrum of concepts from historical geography, historical anthropology, and architectural studies."—Journal of Cultural Geography

"…Hard Places is an outstanding presentation and interpretation of mining landscapes in the United States."—Material Culture

Working with the premise that there are much meaning and value in the "repelling beauty" of mining landscapes, Richard Francaviglia identifies the visual clues that indicate an area has been mined and tells us how to read them, showing the interconnections among all of America's major mining districts. With a style as bold as the landscape he reads and with photographs to match, he interprets the major forces that have shaped the architecture, design, and topography of mining areas. Covering many different types of mining and mining locations, he concludes that mining landscapes have come to symbolize the turmoil between what our society elects to view as two opposing forces: culture and nature.

Table of contents: 



Foreword by Wayne Franklin


Chapter One: Reading the Landscape

Chapter Two: Interpreting the Landscape

Chapter Three: Perceiving the Landscape