- Series: Working Class in American History
- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: University of Illinois Press (November 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0252008952
- ISBN-13: 978-0252008955
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922 (Working Class in American History)
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Why was it so important to use warfare and violence against these people who were US Citizens and governed by the Constitution of the US? Machine guns, armored cars, use of military force including fighters and bombers were part of the effort to put down lawful assembly and freedom of speech? Corbin has had to weight the facts against the reality of the times, but chooses not to look hard at the bigger picture and that is the abuse of the US Constitution and the laws of the land. I recommend this book for students of law and journalism as a prime lesson in what happens when the rule of law is suspended or taken away..
My only caveat would be with his conclusions on the Battle of Blair Mountain. Surprisingly, he infers that the miners had all but defeated the assembled constituencies of the Logan County Defenders, but, curiously, he does not back up these statements with the voluminious array of sources that he cites to substantiate any of his other conclusions. No other historians have ever made such a claim. It would have been helpful were the author to have given more discussion about the reasons why at least a thousand, and probably more, civilian volunteers fought alongside the "gun thugs" of Don Chafin's "Army" to prevent the "Redneck Miners" from entering Logan County.