Comments on The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA

Some comments on my second book: The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA  available at, Taylor Books and the Capital Market

Got your Lincoln County memoir a couple of days ago.  I’m on page 104 and can’t put it down.  Fascinating! Lots of colorful and (mostly) lovable characters filled your life – folks with quiet courage and integrity. Also like the way you share personal letters and other correspondence throughout. Really like your book. Am visiting Mom (91) in Florida and showed her your book.  Now she can’t put it down. Mom never lived in WV.  I think the book has a universal appeal

Just wanted you to know I am in the process of reading your book. It is good reading although I, of course, do not agree with all your viewpoints (as I’m confident you don’t agree with all mine). I did want to compliment you, however. Great reading.

Thanks so much for the wonderful return to memory lane!!

I received your book this evening and haven’t been able to put it down….I’ve actually laughed out loud several times

Julian, I just finished your book The Soviet Union and Lincoln USA, it was simply wonderful! I have always admired your courage and passion and this book exemplifies those characteristics in you. I recommend this book to all educators, your passion for teaching and learning is the model approach.

 Just read the book.  It was amazing!  I learned many new things, and remembered many more.  A couple things in the book I wanted to expand on: You talked about Luke making up words when he was little.  You told me that he used to slide down the hill on something and calling it “buffeting.” I was in the football game where the fight broke out between us and Matewan.  I remember getting kicked between the legs, three of their players after our quarterback (Jamie Dorsey), us ending up with one of their players helmets and standing outside their bus after they got on, and rumored that one of our assistant coaches broke one of their players arms during the fight.  Not sure if the last is true though. I remember you taking some sodium and dropping it into water and it exploding more than you expected.  You got freaked out and said we should have had our goggles on (you always told us beforehand when to put goggles on and didn’t before that experiment).  I think you were just so upset because you were afraid someone would get hurt. I remember doing the circuits where we had to do them in series and in parallel.  You told us when we were ready to test it you had to look it over first.  Somehow a breaker blew and you went out to reset it.  Archie Adkins came in late, didn’t know about the requirement about you checking it first, and then blowing the breaker again and you yelling at him for not looking at it first.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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