The Battle Of Blair Mountain by Robert Shogan
The Story Of America's Largest Labor Uprising

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Robert Shogan

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Shogan is national politcial correspondent for the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times.
 
Published July 26, 2006 by Basic Books. 298 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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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.

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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 ...

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