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Growing Up Hard in Harlan CountyGrowing Up Hard in Harlan County

G. C. Jones

Narrated by Kirk O. Winkler

Available from Audible

Book published by University Press of Kentucky

G.C. "Red" Jones's classic memoir of growing up in rural eastern Kentucky during the Depression is a story of courage, persistence, and eventual triumph. His priceless and detailed recollections of hardscrabble farming, of the impact of Prohibition on an individualistic people, of the community-destroying mine wars of "Bloody Harlan," and of the drastic dislocations brought by World War II are essential to understanding this seminal era in Appalachian history.

G. C. Jones (1913-1988) retired from the construction industry in Florida.


“The great quality of 'Red' Jones's Growing Up Hard in Harlan County is its authenticity. The reader will know that this book came from the heart and that the author experienced every sentence he relates.”

—Harry M. Caudill

“Jones shows all of us that fierce determination, lived day by day, can lead to a satisfying life, even though it might be hard.”

Kentucky Monthly

“In a modest, straightforward manner, and in language that speaks volumes about his mountain upbringing, the author adopts the role of master storyteller and draws the reader into a sometimes frightening world of survival.”

Lexington Herald-Leader

“A vivid and moving testament to G.C. 'Red' Jones' efforts to win the personal, financial, and political battles that filled his years.”

Manchester (KY) Enterprise

“Depicts an important era in eastern Kentucky history.... He is a good writer, too. You will find the book engrossing reading.”

Mountain Eagle

“An absorbing tale told in the vernacular language of the teamsters, farmers and miners in rural, mountainous Kentucky in the early decades of this century. The narrative flows with the symmetry that comes naturally to the accomplished storyteller.”

Washington Post

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University Press Audiobooks
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University Press Audiobooks