"The Great Textbook War" Documentary: Listen to the entire Peabody Award winning documentary on West Virginia Public Broadcasting at:

The Documentary Parts:
Part one describes the beginning of the controversy, as school board member Alice Moore discovers what she considers anti-Christian and anti-American views in textbooks.

Part two chronicles the school boycotts, miner strikes, and school bombings that followed.

Part three details the end of the controversy, and its ongoing legacy.

American Radioworks rebroadcast an extended version of the award-winning documentary at:

This is an extended version of the documentary that gives a brief overview of the documentary at the beginning and a summary at the end. This version is slightly different from the one that was recognized as a Peabody Award winning audio documentary.

The “Books and Beliefs” exhibit can be viewed on this site as well. The Great Textbook War Wiki is attempting to load these same high resolution photographs to this site or will link to another site where the exhibit pictures can be utilized by students remotely in lieu of a visiting exhibit or field trip.

A follow up (shortened version) documentary was created and can be listened to at:

October 31, 2009 · Charleston native Trey Kay examines the 1974 textbook controversy in the radio documentary, “The Great Textbook War.”

In 1974, Kanawha County was the first battleground in the American culture wars. Controversy erupted over newly-adopted school textbooks. School buildings were hit by dynamite and Molotov cocktails, buses were riddled with bullets, journalists were beaten and surrounding coal mines were shut down by protesting miners.

For questions or concerns about this page or have technical issues, please send an e-mail to Mark Swiger.