Miners, Unions and Politics, 1910-1947

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Overview

History is inevitably written from the standpoint of contemporary political and historiographical challenges. The near destruction of the coal industry and of the NUM offers a timely vantage point from which to appraise their history. The events of the last decade necessarily point towards criticism of the easy assumption of miners' solidarity and the cosy identification with Labour Party loyalty which has characterised much of the labour history of British mining. Some more recent work on miners and their unions has moved away from such stereotypical imagery and examined particular regions and communities. This collection of specially commissioned essays by leading authorities on miners' history seeks to build on such individual contributions by first examining the politics of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, the unique influences of syndicalism and communism within some of its constituent areas, and the uneven pace of the Labour Party's 'forward march' within the coal-fields. In the second part of the book, such national developments are studied within their diverse regional contexts through a series of case studies which permits comparison between the major British coalfields. Finally, the book considers the attempts to overcome these regional diversities with the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers and the nationalisation of the mining industry.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A collection of commissioned essays examining the politics of the Miner's Federation of Great Britain, the influences of syndicalism and communism within some of its constituent areas, and the uneven pace of the Labour Party's progress within the coal fields. Studies these national developments within their regional contexts through a series of case studies comparing major British coal fields, and deals with the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers and the nationalization of the mining industry. Distributed by Ashgate. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859282694
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributors
List of tables
List of maps
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 'A cult of their own': syndicalism and The Miners' Next Step 13
2 'All or nowt': the politics of the MFGB 35
3 The Labour Party and electoral politics in the coalfields 59
4 Heroes and anti-heroes: communists in the coalfields 93
5 'The hope of the British proletariat': the South Wales miners, 1910-1947 121
6 The social history of political conflict in the Scots coalfields, 1910-1939 145
7 The landscape of Spencerism: mining politics in the Nottinghamshire coalfield, 1910-1947 175
8 Work, class and community: social identities and political change in the Lancashire coalfield, 1910-1939 199
9 The politics of labourism in the Yorkshire coalfield, 1926-1945 223
10 Learning from bitter experience: the making of the NUM 253
11 The beginning of the beginning: the National Union of Mineworkers and nationalisation 273
Index 299
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