BN.com Gift Guide

The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America's Largest Union Uprising

Overview

The Battle of Blair Mountain covers a profoundly significant but long-neglected slice of American history - the largest armed uprising on American soil since the Civil War. In 1921, some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners, outraged over years of brutality and lawless 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 ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $6.70   
  • Used (34) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$6.70
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(1018)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2004-05-25 Hardcover New NEW-IT IS BRAND NEW-and in its NEW dust cover. It is free from any foreign markings.

Ships from: Rockford, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$36.22
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

The Battle of Blair Mountain covers a profoundly significant but long-neglected slice of American history - the largest armed uprising on American soil since the Civil War. In 1921, some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners, outraged over years of brutality and lawless 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, spearheaded by a bomber squadron commanded by General Billy Mitchell, ended this undeclared civil war and forced the miners to throw down their arms. The significance of this episode reaches beyond the annals of labor history. Indeed, it is a saga of the conflicting political, economic and cultural forces that shaped the power structure of 20th century America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this concise, dramatic and authoritative account of the bloody 1921 encounter between the mine workers and mine owners of the West Virginia coalfields-the most tumultuous labor battle in American history-Shogan gives us a strikingly vivid post-WWI America both utterly foreign and oddly familiar. A former political reporter for Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times, Shogan is as much good feature writer as historian. Out of a confusing and often still-disputed series of events, he sets scenes and fills in necessary background with an unfussy narrative drive. Such well-known figures as the mercurial Mother Jones and the stalwart Samuel Gompers have their roles, as do a pair of presidents (Wilson and Harding), whose dithering made a difficult situation worse. Less familiar figures such as the organizer Sid Hatfield and the detective C.E. Lively are drawn with lifelike strokes. Police raids and deportations, bombs sent through the mail and a general air of panic and "red" hysteria build as miners and owners move inexorably toward their ultimate confrontation. The tragic outcome of the battle between a group of mountain people and the full power of the emerging superstate-with WWI hero (and later state senator) Billy Mitchell's biplanes ready, 15 years before Guernica, to bomb civilians-is inevitable, but it is Shogan's triumph here to make the reader feel it anew. A minor quibble is the otherwise fine bibliography's failure to mention John Sayles's Matewan, surely an important (and reasonably accurate) version of the events in question. 10 b&w photos. Agent, Carl Brandt. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The violent nationwide Great Railroad Strike of 1877 involved more workers, but the Battle of Blair Mountain, WV, in August 1921 was the largest armed labor uprising in the United States. Nearly 10,000 white and black coal miners of the United Mine Workers of America attacked 3000 pro-coal company men. The conflict ended when miners ultimately decided not to fight the U.S. Army. Longtime political journalist Shogan (Riddle of Power) details the grievances miners had against mine operators determined to destroy the union and maintain subsistence wages. Though Lon Savage's Thunder in the Mountains and other good narratives of Blair Mountain exist, Shogan argues further that organized labor learned from the event that "working class gains can be made only by playing by middle-class rules that demand respect for property and profit"-a lesson that still holds in today's era of globalization and outsourcing. Riveting and well researched, the book should have wide appeal to lay readers. Recommended mainly for public libraries.-Charles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., State Coll. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A stunning re-creation of the great West Virginia uprising of 1921, when some 10,000 armed miners confronted coal operators and their hired guns in an attempt to unionize. After WWI, President Wilson's New Freedom was out, as were idealism, the rights of labor, and dissent. "The conservative trend was also marked by an enhanced reverence for free enterprise, its leaders and all their works, an attitude which served to reinforce the resistance of these worthies to the demands of labor," writes former political correspondent Shogan (War Without End, 2002, etc.; Government/Johns Hopkins), sounding more like Big Bill Haywood than the free-thinking historian he mostly proves to be in these impassioned pages. Inflation was wrecking the old wage structure; demand was falling in the postwar economy. The United Mine Workers (UMW) had adopted the new work-within-the system unionism of Samuel Gompers, but in West Virginia, a more radical faction also had a change in the political landscape on their minds. It was obvious, Shogan writes, that all the West Virginia coal mines had to be unionized, or the nonunion mines would offset the production stoppages of the striking mines, giving the union a case of the dwindles. Wilson's swing to the right, the difficulties of unionizing the disparate West Virginia working classes, the role of federal troops, ancient enmities, and conspicuous actors like Sid Hatfield (yes, of those Hatfields), who turned a blood feud into union resistance, are among the volatile ingredients Shogan blends into a zesty narrative stew. He suggests that America's "promise of opportunity, individual freedom and fairness under the law" led the miners to lay down their arms, but leavesopen the possibility that they may have simply had a good sense of bad timing. Indeed, the time would never be right in West Virginia for social justice, though unions prompted employers to throw the populace a few economic sops. A mesmerizing, rarely mentioned piece of labor history, crackingly told. (10 b&w photographs, not seen)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813340968
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/24/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Author's Note IX
Acknowledgments XIII
1 Matewan Station 1
2 "What Does Labor Want?" 27
3 Seeing Red 45
4 "A Powder Keg Ready to Blow" 65
5 "It's Good to Have Friends" 87
6 "War, Insurrection and Riot" 109
7 Mr. Hatfield Goes to Washington 135
8 "Even the Heavens Weep" 153
9 "I Come Creeping" 183
10 Requiem for a Rebellion 211
Reference Notes 229
Bibliography 249
Index 255
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    A Heartbreaking Saga

    It is difficult to read this story. My father and grandfather were miners in Southern West Virginia during the time of this tragedy. They were both blackballed around 1920 for several years because of their efforts to help the UMW get established here. This book gives an accurate picture of what happened to the miners during that time. I remember stories my dad told us when I was young. More wrong doing by the coal company owners isn't included in the book, and the book did not exaggerate what it did cover: the battle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)