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Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War Paperback – April 12, 2010
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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)
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Top Customer Reviews
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
KILLING FOR COAL starts and concludes with the Ludlow Massacre. In between, the book is about coal and coal mining in Colorado and about the larger conflict between labor and capital. It aims to be an environmental history and an industrial history. It aims to explore the natural world and the social, technological, and economic forces that combined to bring about the Colorado Coal War that culminated in the Ludlow Massacre.Read more ›
The book is easy to read of course, but the topic is very difficult. The terrible destruction brought about by the Coal Industry and the super wealthy owners is yet another example of greed and avarice, at the expense of everyone else. I think that this book is well written, and insightful. It is a shame that our ancestors never considered anything else but making money. Anything in the way of "progress", during the turn of the century was easily and quickly explained away. The destruction of an entire culture, the eradication of countless species of animals, 3.7 billion Passenger Pigeons shot in the open skies and child labor. American Bison shot and left to die on the American Plains.
These practices continue today, the Mining Industry continues, mostly unchecked destroying the lives of others and countless examples exist of the environmental damage that is caused by this industry, in the name of progress.
In the first few pages of this book, a young child is shot down during a Coal Strike, mules are burned alive by an angry mob, dogs are also shot during a riot. The awful things that people will do when they are driven to their worst.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Killing for Coal" tells the history of the industrial conflicts that gripped Colorado's coalfields in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Read morePublished 9 months ago by not me
this book gives other meaning to ludlow, my uncle was born at ludlow the day of the massacre. gives a broader view and other insight.Published 10 months ago by Douglas B.
I learned a lot about the coal mining business. Very informative. I had no idea there were so many layers to the Ludlow massacre.Published 15 months ago by BGrover
This book arrived when promised and was free shipping with Prime. It was in very good condition and included the original dust cover. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dog Lover
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... Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by Omnivorous Reader
This book offers great insight into the viewpoint of coal workers during the turn of the century. I wasn't a fan of the first chapter, but everything after that is captivating.Published on January 3, 2014 by Jonathan Leack
This is a brilliant, haunting book by a great historian. It will illuminate your understanding of environmental and labor issues in the American West.Published on March 2, 2010 by Tiva