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{ "item_title" : "The Quiet Zone", "item_author" : [" Stephen Kurczy "], "item_description" : "In this riveting account of an area of Appalachia known as the Quiet Zone where cell phones and WiFi are banned, journalist Stephen Kurczy explores the pervasive role of technology in our lives and the innate human need for quiet.Captures the complex beauty of a disconnected way of life. --The NationWith a new afterword to the paperback editionDeep in the Appalachian Mountains lies the last truly quiet town in America. Green Bank, West Virginia, is a place at once futuristic and old-fashioned: It's home to the Green Bank Observatory, where astronomers search the depths of the universe using the latest technology, while schoolchildren go without WiFi or iPads. With a ban on all devices emanating radio frequencies that might interfere with the observatory's telescopes, Quiet Zone residents live a life free from constant digital connectivity. But a community that on the surface seems idyllic is a place of contradictions, where the provincial meets the seemingly supernatural and quiet can serve as a cover for something darker.Stephen Kurczy embedded in Green Bank, making the residents of this small Appalachian village his neighbors. He shopped at the town's general store, attended church services, went target shooting with a seven-year-old, square-danced with the locals, sampled the local moonshine. In The Quiet Zone, he introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters. There is a tech buster patrolling the area for illegal radio waves; electrosensitives who claim that WiFi is deadly; a sheriff's department with a string of unsolved murder cases dating back decades; a camp of neo-Nazis plotting their resurgence from a nearby mountain hollow. Amongst them all are the ordinary citizens seeking a simpler way of living. Kurczy asks: Is a less connected life desirable? Is it even possible?The Quiet Zone is a remarkable work of investigative journalism--at once a stirring ode to place, a tautly wound tale of mystery, and a clarion call to reexamine the role technology plays in our lives.", "item_img_path" : "https://covers4.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/06/294/549/0062945491_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "27.99", "online_price" : "27.99", "our_price" : "27.99", "club_price" : "27.99", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "" } }
The Quiet Zone|Stephen Kurczy
The Quiet Zone : Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence
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Overview

In this riveting account of an area of Appalachia known as the Quiet Zone where cell phones and WiFi are banned, journalist Stephen Kurczy explores the pervasive role of technology in our lives and the innate human need for quiet.

"Captures the complex beauty of a disconnected way of life." --The Nation

With a new afterword to the paperback edition

Deep in the Appalachian Mountains lies the last truly quiet town in America. Green Bank, West Virginia, is a place at once futuristic and old-fashioned: It's home to the Green Bank Observatory, where astronomers search the depths of the universe using the latest technology, while schoolchildren go without WiFi or iPads. With a ban on all devices emanating radio frequencies that might interfere with the observatory's telescopes, Quiet Zone residents live a life free from constant digital connectivity. But a community that on the surface seems idyllic is a place of contradictions, where the provincial meets the seemingly supernatural and quiet can serve as a cover for something darker.

Stephen Kurczy embedded in Green Bank, making the residents of this small Appalachian village his neighbors. He shopped at the town's general store, attended church services, went target shooting with a seven-year-old, square-danced with the locals, sampled the local moonshine. In The Quiet Zone, he introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters. There is a tech buster patrolling the area for illegal radio waves; "electrosensitives" who claim that WiFi is deadly; a sheriff's department with a string of unsolved murder cases dating back decades; a camp of neo-Nazis plotting their resurgence from a nearby mountain hollow. Amongst them all are the ordinary citizens seeking a simpler way of living. Kurczy asks: Is a less connected life desirable? Is it even possible?

The Quiet Zone is a remarkable work of investigative journalism--at once a stirring ode to place, a tautly wound tale of mystery, and a clarion call to reexamine the role technology plays in our lives.

  • ISBN-13: 9780062945495
  • ISBN-10: 0062945491
  • Publisher: Dey Street Books
  • Publish Date: August 2021
  • Dimensions: 9.25 x 6.34 x 1.16 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.08 pounds
  • Page Count: 336

The Quiet Zone

Green Bank, West Virginia, is known as the quietest town in America. It’s a lushly forested place where a government-owned observatory requires unimaginable levels of quiet, and therefore where locals are asked to eschew cell phones, microwaves and Wi-Fi.

Since the Green Bank Observatory was built in 1957, scientists there have quite literally listened to the universe through equipment that only works when it’s not competing with the electronic noise of modern society. Employees at the observatory have spent decades mitigating radio frequency noise, outfitting the Dollar General’s automated front door with conductive lead paint to block electromagnetic radiation and once even replacing a malfunctioning electric blanket in a local home. 

While some locals sneak in forbidden electric gadgets, Green Bank is a haven for those who seek unusual peace and quiet. When journalist Stephen Kurczy started visiting regularly in 2017, he quickly realized it’s an eclectic group. The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence is his fascinating, deeply reported and slightly eerie look at an unusual corner of America.

“Had I walked into a dream?” Kurczy wonders. “An elderly man was cohabitating with bears down the road from the world-famous clown doctor Patch Adams and just a few miles from a hippie enclave, all of them sharing a patch of Appalachia with world-renowned astronomers and secretive government operatives. The area seemed tinged with magical realism, with an impossible menagerie of eccentrics congregating in the forest.”

How had so many disparate groups found their way to the same town in West Virginia? The truth is, many of them came there to be left alone. In repeated trips to Green Bank, Kurczy gets to know these various groups, from the white nationalists who attempted to build their headquarters there to a group of electrosensitives who become ill from even the slightest electromagnetic radiation and who moved to Green Bank in a desperate attempt to quell their sickness.

Ultimately, Kurczy realizes Green Bank is not as silent as the media portrays it, but he brings to life other facets of this town that are even more intriguing. Kurczy becomes embedded in the community, and with compassion and a journalist’s eye he delivers a compelling portrait of a town where people struggle with the same issues as the rest of America, just a little more quietly.