Writers and Miners: Activism and Imagery in America

Writers and Miners: Activism and Imagery in America

by David C. Duke
Pub. Date:
University Press of Kentucky


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Writers and Miners: Activism and Imagery in America

Coal miners evoke admiration and sympathy from the public, and writers — some seeking a muse, others a cause — traditionally champion them. David C. Duke explores more than one hundred years of this tradition in literature, poetry, drama, and film. Duke argues that as most writers spoke about rather than to the mining community, miners became stock characters in an industrial morality play, robbed of individuality or humanity. He discusses activist-writers such as John Reed, Theodore Dreiser, and Denise Giardina, who assisted striking workers, and looks at the writing of miners themselves. He examines portrayals of miners from The Trail of the Lonesome Pine to Matewan and The Kentucky Cycle. The most comprehensive study on the subject to date, Writers and Miners investigates the vexed political and creative relationship between activists and artists and those they seek to represent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813193472
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David C. Duke, professor of history at Marshall University, is the author of Distant Obligations: Modern American Writers and Foreign Causes.

Table of Contents

1.Idiosyncratic Activism while Assisting "The Other"9
2.Two Appalachians: Don West and Denise Giardina46
3.Coal Mining in the Novel, the Short Story, and Genre Fiction67
4.Stage and Screen101
5.Coal Mining Fiction for the Young126
6.Coal Mining and the Poetic Imagination144
7.Voices from within the Mining Community173

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