If you tell kids how bad a miner's working conditions used to be, can you write off the dangers to health and safety that still exist today? If you point out that strip mining scars the land, can you--after 1977's watered-down legislation--maintain that ""stronger laws are being passed""? The problem of this book is that of candor: in wanting to be fair, it becomes devious, making one wish that the subjects had never been brought up, that Burr had stuck to the safe topics of coal formation, use, and extraction. These, however, are presented more thoroughly--in simple, concrete terms--in the 1974 revision of the Adlers' Coal. True, the Adlers concentrate on the material rather than the human aspects of the subject; but the effect of this obfuscatory volume is simply counterproductive: any youngster in a mining region knows it's hogwash, any other child is misled.