Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America

There is nothing beautiful about fracking. Strange to read this book in tandem with William Bartram’s travels around 18th century Florida and Georgia, the unspoiled wildernesses in all their prelapsarian glory. In Eliza Griswold’s multi-year reporting of the western corner of Pennsylvania, we see fracking’s sins laid bare—poisoned water sources, airborne toxins, sick children, ugly waste pits, fraud and coverup by state environmental group in cahoots with industry, neighbor pitted against neighbor. The book is uneven in quality, but for the most part a riveting story following one family’s arc of inviting the drilling onto their land and then losing everything (house, farm animals, health).