One of the most important Kentuckians of the 20th century, Harry Caudill brought the story of Appalachia to national attention when his book “Night Comes to the Cumberlands” was released in 1963. The nonfiction account of Eastern Kentucky’s coal region, part history and part polemic, eloquently recounted the exploitation of Appalachia’s land and its people by business and government interests, and made Caudill a national spokesperson for his homeland. Harry Caudill spent his life advocating for Eastern Kentucky, with the aim of helping the powerless as well as securing the region’s unmatched natural resources for future generations. His work led to lasting government reforms for Appalachia, and his legacy remains a touchstone for activists today.
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