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Remaking Appalachia: Ecosocialism, Ecofeminism, and Law by Nicholas F. Stump

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Nicholas Stump is a professor at the West Virginia University School of Law. I can imagine people who would love this book and relish its critique of the Appalachian status quo and its prescriptions for our future. Although I actually pretty much agree with its analysis of what’s wrong with Appalachia and what’s wrong with proposed neoliberal solutions and its suggestions for more thoroughgoing transformations, but I cannot handle its writing style. This book lavishes leftist rhetorical flourishes upon long sentences that are as abstruse as mainstream legal discourse. I don’t understand how someone can identify with left alternatives in every other respect without seeking alternatives to mainstream legal written discourse. I have heard of Ecofeminism, a term used in this book’s sub-title, although I’m still not sure what it means, but I have not heard of Ecosocialsm, though I can guess at its meaning. The last word in this book is Capitalocene, yes, capitalized at the end of a sentence, not in a title. Apparently, using this word recognizes that the most recent time-period that we live in is an era of the ascendency of capitalism. When reading, I prefer to grasp the meaning of a sentence easily without having to google the jargon used. “Remaking Appalachia offers a thorough critical account of Appalachia through a law and political economy lens, and makes a persuasive case for what the region needs today: a hopeful vision for a new future rooted in transformative, bottom-up change.” Ann M. Eisenberg.

 Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2021. 317 pages with an Index, forty pages of Notes, and a twenty-page Bibliography. Trade paperback.