The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone

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9780812980646: The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone
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“A rare, honest, beautiful, and, yes, sometimes heartbreaking examination of the echoes of water-powered natural gas drilling—or fracking—in the human community . . . vivid, personal and emotional.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
Susquehanna County, in the remote northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, is a community of stoic, low-income dairy farmers and homesteaders seeking haven from suburban sprawl—and the site of the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas deposit worth more than one trillion dollars. In The End of Country, journalist and area native Seamus McGraw opens a window on the battle for control of this land, revealing a conflict that pits petrodollar billionaires and the forces of corporate America against a band of locals determined to extract their fair share of the windfall—but not at the cost of their values or their way of life. Rich with a sense of place and populated by unforgettable personalities, McGraw tells a tale of greed, hubris, and envy, but also of hope, family, and the land that binds them all together.
 
“To tell a great story, you need a great story. Seamus McGraw . . . has lived a great story. . . . [He] is just one of its many characters—very real characters—caught up in a very human story in which they must make tough, life-altering decisions for themselves, their community, and ultimately their country.”—Allentown Morning Call
 
“Compelling . . . The End of Country is like a phone call from a close friend or relative living smack-dab in the middle of the Pennsylvania gas rush. . . . Anyone with even a passing interest in the [fracking debate should] read it.”—Harrisburg Patriot-News
 
“This cautionary tale should be required reading for all those tempted by the calling cards of easy money and precarious peace of mind.”—Tom Brokaw
 
“A page-turner . . . McGraw brings us to the front lines of the U.S. energy revolution to deliver an honest and humbling account that could hardly possess greater relevance.”—The Humanist

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Narrow country roads more suited to tractors and rusting pickup trucks are quickly buckling under the weight of thousands of tons of heavy drilling equipment and the trucks needed to ferry it all. A Cabot drill pad in Springville Township, Susquehanna County. The heavy trucks and other equipment necessary for the drilling industry are tearing up the roads of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Barns and gas drilling rigs have become familiar pairs throughout the Marcellus Shale region. A drilling rig in Meshoppen, Wyoming County. Once the rig is in place, the work of extracting the gas goes on around the clock. Farm property along a winding country road near West Nicholson in Northeast Pennsylvania.

About the Author:

Seamus McGraw is a full-time writer who has seen his work published in Playboy, Reader’s Digest, Penthouse, Radar, Spin, and The Forward. He has received the Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors, as well as honors from the Casey Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists. McGraw is currently working on a documentary trailer about his family’s experiences with the Marcellus shale. He grew up pitching hay and spreading manure on the same fields the gas companies are now prospecting. He still lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and four children.

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