Harry Caudill wrote more than 130 newspaper and magazine essays, mostly about Kentucky, poverty, ecology, coal mining or some combination thereof. Caudill’s nine books are listed below. An asterisk indicates that the book is kept in print today by the Jesse Stuart Foundation in Ashland. (Click on the title to buy the book.)
- Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area (1963): Caudill tells the history of the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky and the environmental destruction, poverty and political corruption caused by coal mining.
- Dark Hills to Westward: The Saga of Jenny Wiley (1969): Caudill’s first novel is based on the real-life story of pioneer Jenny Wiley, who was kidnapped by Indians in 1789 and made a desperate flight to freedom through the wilderness.
- My Land Is Dying (1971): Caudill urges a change in the nation’s economic priorities to make strip mining for coal unnecessary.
- The Senator from Slaughter County (1973)*: Caudill’s second novel tells of Dr. Thomas Jefferson Bonham, a ruthless political boss in an Appalachian county who uses his power to suppress his community. Caudill once called it his favorite of all his books.
- The Watches of the Night (1976)*: A sequel to Night Comes to the Cumberlands in which Caudill reviews — and mostly finds lacking — the federal and volunteer efforts to “save” Appalachia that occurred during the 1960s and early 1970s, after the publication of his first book.
- A Darkness at Dawn: Appalachian Kentucky and the Future (1976): A small volume that was part of the Kentucky Bicentennial Bookshelf series published by the University Press of Kentucky. It touches on several of Caudill’s usual themes.
- The Mountain, the Miner, and the Lord and Other Tales From a Country Law Office (1980)*: Caudill, a consummate storyteller, shares funny and poignant anecdotes that he gathered over the years from his Whitesburg law practice.
- Theirs Be the Power: The Moguls of Eastern Kentucky (1983): Caudill identifies the coal barons who have controlled Appalachia by owning its land and natural resources, from John C.C. Mayo a century ago to William Sturgill in modern times.
- Slender Is the Thread: Tales From a Country Law Office (1987)*: A follow-up to The Mountain, the Miner, and the Lord, more true tall tales from Caudill’s law practice.