Thursday, September 4, 2008

The cold romance of the west

I have a post up at my site on Alexandra Fuller's biography of an oil rig worker, The Legend of Colton H. Bryant. This book deeply impressed me - it is beautifully written, broken into dozens of short elegant chapters and follows the life of one young man who tried to find a life in his beloved Wyoming and died in the most preventable of accidents.

Colton Bryant died because his company was too cheap to build safety rails and because the industry mindset is thoroughly based on all workers as being easily replaceable.

We read a lot about how people used to live in high school; about the people in early America and in France during the revolution and how it was during slavery and on and on. (I spent years on the damn Pilgrims it seems.) But we rarely consider how we live now and that is something that I think should be a far bigger part of anyone's reading list.

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant is an excellent way to better understand, in the most human of terms, how America's addition to oil is costing us a price we should not pay. Colton was 25 when he died and Alexandra Fuller makes clear that the waste of that death is appalling.

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