Slow Burn

A Photodocument of Centralia, Pennsylvania

By (author) Renée Jacobs Introduction by Margaret O. Kirk

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 March 2010

Length of book:

176 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271036816

First published in 1986, Slow Burn chronicles Centralia’s demise from an underground coal mine fire and depicts a singular epic event in Pennsylvania history, representing the confluence of environmental, scientific, bureaucratic, and emotional tragedies. As an award-winning photojournalist, Jacobs moved into a house in Centralia’s impact zone in 1983 to document in photographs and interviews the end stages of the tiny anthracite coal town’s unsuccessful fight to resolve the intractable problems that began with the mine fire in 1962 and culminated in the razing of the town by the federal government.

“The gallery of stark Works Progress Administration–style photographs by Renée Jacobs portrays with poignancy a Welsh, Irish, and Slavic Roman Catholic community as it once was, poised in stubborn bewilderment.”

—Ben A. Franklin, New York Times Book Review