Buy New
$17.80
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.00
  • Save: $3.20 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War Paperback – October 1, 2010


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$17.80
$17.00 $9.49

Frequently Bought Together

Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War + Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
Price for both: $31.61

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674046919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674046917
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Ludlow Massacre of 1914 has long been known as one of the most notorious events in all of American labor history, but until the publication of Killing for Coal, it was still possible to see this slaughter simply as an episode in the history of American industrial violence. In Thomas Andrews's skilled hands, it becomes something much subtler, more complicated, and revealing: a window onto the profound transformation of work and environment that occurred on the Western mining frontier in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anyone interested in the history of labor, the environment, and the American West will want to read this book. (William Cronon, author of Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West)

Killing for Coal is a stunning achievement. Beautifully written and masterfully researched, it stands as the definitive history of the dramatic events at Ludlow and breaks new ground in our understanding of industrialization and the environment. If I were to pick one word to describe this book, I would say, "powerful." (Kathryn Morse, author of The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush)

Killing for Coal arises from the rare and providential convergence of an extraordinary author and an extraordinary topic. With a perfect instinct for the telling detail, Thomas Andrews wields a matching talent for conveying, in crystal-clear prose, the deepest meanings of history. This is, in every sense, an illuminating book, shining light into a dark terrain of the American past and of the human soul. (Patricia Nelson Limerick, author of The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West)

A groundbreaking work about coal and coal development, labor relations and class conflict. (Sandra Dallas Denver Post 2009-02-15)

Thomas G. Andrews' Killing for Coal offers an intriguing analysis of the so-called Ludlow Massacre of April 20, 1914, a watershed event in American labor history that he illuminates with a new understanding of the complexity of this conflict...Killing for Coal distinguishes itself from conventional labor histories, by going beyond sociological factors to look at the total physical environment--what Andrews calls the "workscape"--and the role it played in the lives of both labor and management...In its deft marriage of natural and social history, Killing for Coal sets a new standard for how the history of industry can and should be written. (Emily F. Popek PopMatters 2009-01-30)

A stunning debut, full of insight into the role of labor and class not just in southern Colorado, but across the country. (Denver Westword 2009-03-27)

Andrews brings a 21st-century approach to this once-troubled landscape where the region's voracious need for fuel trumped the rights and independence of the men who dragged it out of the ground. (Bob Hoover Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2009-04-19)

Killing for Coal is far more than a blow-by-blow account of America's deadliest labor war. It is an environmental history that seeks to explain strike violence as the natural excretion of an industry that brutalized the earth and the men who worked beneath it. Andrews is one of the excellent young scholars who have given new life to the field of labor and working-class studies by introducing new questions about race and gender, ethnicity and nationality, and new insights drawn from anthropology and physical geography...Andrews deserves credit for writing one of the best books ever published on the mining industry and its environmental impact and for drawing more public attention to the Ludlow story and its significance. (James Green Dissent 2009-05-01)

Andrews does an excellent job of placing the massacre in the larger context of both previous labor strife in the area and the violent reprisals that armed bands of miners launched on mine owners, strikebreakers, and militia men in response to the deaths at Ludlow. One of the great strengths of Andrews's account is his integration of environmental history into his narrative at all levels, and not just as an afterthought. The book is as much a history of coal, coal mining, and the reshaping of Colorado's environment as it is a history of the Great Coalfield War of 1914. (A. M. Berkowitz Choice 2009-04-01)

About the Author

Thomas G. Andrews is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gregory M. Miller on February 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this work to be a fascinating attempt to apply methods of the French Annales school to American labor history. Andrews contends, rightly in my opinion, that the struggle at Ludlow was simply one violent event in the long struggle between capitalist mine owners and the workers hired to extract coal from underground mines. Andrews demontrates a thorough familiarity with his material; his explanation of why machines were difficult to use in Colorado coal mines (the veins of coal are too irregular is the short explantation) I found both interesting and informative. Andrews attempts an even-handed approach with this subject, which I also found frustrating at times; sometimes it would be better to call a robber baron a robber baron and be done with it.

The innovation of informing this labor history with environmental history brings a new perspective for the reader--or this reader, anyway. I highly recommend this book
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Historianne on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This intricately crafted yet eminently readable book pulls together labor history, environmental history, social history, and economic history to reshape how we should think about extractive industry in the West. We should not ignore coal and other fossil fuels; we should not ignore the environmental causes and consequences of our labors and labor problems; we should not forget the humanity-and hubris--of all sides of ideological and economic fights. Andrews brings a love of Colorado to a work of deep historical rigor and will please western history buffs and more theoretically-inclined folks alike.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Labor defense on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Really, the older books give you more good context and information about the Ludlow Massacre. Read Priscilla Long's Where the Sun Never shines and you get more of the political context, the understanding. This reads like a history with the workers and the politics of the UMWA left out. It makes it seem like the environment was more of an agent of the history than the workers themselves. They were moved to act in his interpretation by the environment. No context of the wider coal miners struggles in the US, of what had happened the year before in West Virginia.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew W. Quinn on March 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
KILLING FOR COAL is a fascinating look into a part of American history that's really not well-known. It starts out with a fascinating description of how the Colorado coal fields formed millions of years ago and continues on by describing how the mining of coal revolutionized the lives of the people living in the energy-poor and hostile West, although this came at an environmental price. It also does a great job describing the lives and culture of the miners and what led to the titular strike and violence.

However, the latter part of the book doesn't live up to the promise of the prologue. The prologue discusses how the unrest spread from the miners into other sectors of the working class and how it looked like the strikers might take over the state, but that isn't really covered in the section covering the battles between the strikers and the guardsmen after the Ludlow Massacre. The battles aren't covered in great detail either. Finally, although the prologue discusses the trials of the strike organizers afterward and how various factors (including anti-Communism and even a period of dominance by the Klan) "encouraged" the miners to forget how they'd outright defeated the state government, there is almost nothing about the aftermath. Considering how well-done the early parts of the book are, this is a major missed opportunity.

Still, it's a very informative book and definitely worth a read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kurt D. Hamman on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those interested in the historical (i.e. social, economic, political, and technical) aspects of Southern Colorado coal mining in the early 1900s, Thomas Andrews "Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War" is a good read.

"If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development."
-Aristotle
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author has encapsulated numerous social and economic conditions into a coherent chronicle of life struggling to exist both in and above the coal mines for the men and their families. It is a griping study of the truth in the social and environmental history of a labor struggle. The author's probes the origins of fossil fuel dependency in the American West, the role of workplace environments in shaping mine worker solidarity, and the coalescence of migrant laborers from many nations into a fighting force which culminates in spiraling violence between coal miners and mining companies during the Ludlow Massacre and Colorado Coalfield War of 1913-14.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search