The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America's Largest Labor Uprising [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1921, some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners-- outraged over years of brutality and exploitation-- picked up their Winchesters and marched against their tormentors, the powerful mine owners who ruled their corrupt state. For ten days the miners fought a pitched battle against an opposing legion of deputies, state police, and makeshift militia. Only the intervention of a Federal expeditionary force ended this undeclared war. In The Battle of Blair Mountain, Robert Shogan shows this long-neglected slice of ...
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The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America's Largest Labor Uprising

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Overview

In 1921, some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners-- outraged over years of brutality and exploitation-- picked up their Winchesters and marched against their tormentors, the powerful mine owners who ruled their corrupt state. For ten days the miners fought a pitched battle against an opposing legion of deputies, state police, and makeshift militia. Only the intervention of a Federal expeditionary force ended this undeclared war. In The Battle of Blair Mountain, Robert Shogan shows this long-neglected slice of American history to be a saga of the conflicting political, economic, and cultural forces that shaped the power structure of twentieth-century America.
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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Raymond Puffer
The divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" was immensely greater in the mid-19th century than it is now, and too many of the latter were stuck fast below a very gritty poverty line. The mass effort to elevate laborers into something approximating the middle class began in the country's coalfields, auto factories, and steel mills, and the struggle furnished some of the most dramatic moments in its history. One such instance was the uprising of West Virginia coal miners against the mine owners in 1921. Far from being just an exciting historical episode, it was probably (with the exception of the Civil War) the greatest challenge to the nation's political stability since the Whisky Rebellion. The more-or-less spontaneous disorder in the mountains was led and encouraged by a variety of leaders, and it snowballed into the largest labor confrontation of the era. Ten thousand workers took up their deer rifles and hunting shotguns and marched against the mining establishment and its allies within a compliant state government, calling for better wages and other benefits that seem completely unexceptional today. Pitched skirmishes (the author calls them battles) were fought, and gunfire echoed from the ridges. In the midst of it all, the desperate men were supported by an amazing array of spontaneous ad hoc support services. The whole affair ended only after the Federal government sent in forces. Author Shogan is an experienced political writer who really gets into the social issues involved, and especially into the nuts and bolts of who did what, and why. The entire book is devoted to this one rebellion, which allows him to delve into the most minute details. The result issolidly documented history that reads well, but may prove somewhat tedious to all but the most motivated secondary student. Those who persist, though, will be in for an unforgettable adventure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786735945
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 7/26/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 917,416
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Shogan has spent more than thirty years covering the political scene in Washington as national political correspondent for Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Government at the Center for Study of American Government of Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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