Amity and Prosperity
One Family and the Fracturing of America
This year, New America celebrates 20 years of creating and incubating the next big ideas that address some of the nation's and the world’s toughest problems. We are thinkers, researchers, problem-solvers, and storytellers, united by our goal to hold our nation to its highest ideals. We recognize the challenges presented by rapid technological and social change, and work to ensure that the solutions made possible by those changes lead to greater opportunity for all. As we reach forward toward the next 20 years of New America, we will strive to be an engine of American renewal, at home and abroad.
In Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and poet Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom’s impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman’s transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.
Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious illnesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.
Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
Join the New America's Fellows Program and Solid State Books for a conversation with Eliza Griswold, author of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning Amity & Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, and David Wallace-Wells, author of the New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, about the environmental and societal impact of the energy industry.
Eliza Griswold, @elizagriswold
2008 National Fellow, New America
2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner in General Nonfiction
Author, Amity & Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America
David Wallace-Wells, @dwallacewells
2019 National Fellow, New America
Deputy Editor, New York Magazine
Author, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
Copies of Amity and Prosperity will be available for purchase through our bookselling partner Solid State Books, and a book signing will follow the discussion.