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Children's LiteratureThe end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th saw an upsurge in the push for reform in the lives of working men and women. The relationship between laborers and those who profit from their labor has always been difficult and remains so today. In 1913-1914, this conflict led to a tragedy that shocked the nation. The industry was coal mining. The conditions were harsh and brutal and wages were low. Benefits, as we know them today, were few. The coal fields of Colorado represented to industrialists huge natural resources that were there for the taking. The goal of maximum profits ruled. Allowances for safety and a minimum wage reduced profits. Dissatisfied miners were free to quit and look for work elsewhere. The position of the industrialists and that of the miners is presented with an even hand. But the coming conflict was inevitable. The emergence of industrial royalty, represented by the Rockefellers, was tragically at odds with the dreams of a labor population swelled by immigrants from Western and Eastern Europe. Competent leadership had developed among workers who were more educated than the generation before them. A great war (the Civil War) had recently been fought over just this issue. The building blocks of this debacle are skillfully laid with compelling biographical sketches of the major players. The text is illustrated with old photographs and paintings which provide interest and a sense of immediacy. The book closes with a timeline, list of sources, a bibliography, list of web sites, and an index and would benefit greatly any sociology, American history or political science class. 2006, Morgan Reynolds Publishing Inc, Ages 12 up.