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The Necessities of Life By Ed Ford

Hard Cover, 160 pages
Historical Fiction
Acclaim Press
ISBN: 978-1-956027-32-7

A struggle to make a difference

In The Necessities of Life, a dying educator asks his son for a final wish – a return to the Eastern Kentucky coal camp where he established a successful school despite the threatening opposition of a corrupt county judge,

The school is located in a rugged remote mountain area during the Great Depression just prior to World War II. Gray Graham, in flashback, relates how he was hired by the coal company manager to educate the children of its miners and administrators at the company school.

The county political machine, however, wanted ownership of the school to enhance its power and control.

On his first day as principal, Graham is stopped at the school's doorway by the county judge who warns him to leave or face the consequences. Graham refuses, but that initiates scare tactics against him and his family and, finally, death threats versus him and his associates.

Despite the ongoing turmoil, Gray is determined to establish a positive educational foundation for his school's bright and disadvantaged students. In what he believes to be a routine social studies lecture about the necessities of life, a door suddenly is opened. Jimmy Dan, a student who considers himself incapable of learning, asks Graham not to ask him any more questions. The principal takes that as a challenge.

Justice in the school village of Citation often is determined by gunplay. Graham is fired upon and must defend himself physically, in the courts and at the ballot box as he mounts electoral opposition to the corrupt county government.

You may contact author Ed Ford by email at

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