The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA–Comments

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!!

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.

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

Just read the book.  It was amazing!  I learned many new things, and remembered many more.  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.

Loving your book-my favorite chapter “Eddie Gillenwater”. He loved you Julian! Thanks for sharing some of his story

Finished The SOVIET UNION and LINCOLN COUNTY USA: a great read. Especially enjoyed the events (e.g., the 1990 statewide teachers’ strike) and the good guys (“Skip” Garten, Father Joe Hacala, Dan Hedges & Larry Gibson) familiar to me.

Check out a new book on Amazon: The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA by Julian Martin. Full disclosure: the author is an old friend. I have read bits and pieces of this and am willing to recommend it unreservedly. As a matter of fact I gave a copy to my wife and a copy to one of my best friends for Xmas. An unvarnished look at being a dissident in a small community.

Enjoyed the book very much. Kept me interested from beginning to end.

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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