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Killing for Coal America's Deadliest Labor War

Read Killing for Coal America's Deadliest Labor War

Nd original perspective on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the “Great Coalfield War” In a sweeping story of transformation that begins in the coal beds and culminates with the deadliest strike in American history Thomas Andrews illuminates the causes and conseuences of the militancy that erupted in colliers’ strikes over the course of nearly half a century He reveals a complex world shaped by the connected forces of land labor corporate industrializatio. I was partial to this book even before I read it The author is the son of a college friend The book is his history dissertation published by Harvard University Press a very special recognition While coal mining in southern Colorado is not my first topic of interest Andrews made this study readable insightful and compelling Needful in the coal beds and culminates with the deadliest strike Gemini in American history Thomas Andrews Mirrored Heavens illuminates the causes and conseuences of the militancy that erupted A Drop Around the World in colliers’ strikes over the course of nearly half a century He reveals a complex world shaped by the connected forces of land labor corporate Holiness industrializatio. I was partial to this book even before I read Step by Step it The author Oswald Mathias Ungers is the son of a college friend The book Afghan Guerrilla Warfare: In the Words of the Mjuahideen Fighters (Zenith Military Classics) is his history dissertation published by Harvard University Press a very special recognition While coal mining Pontius Pilate, Saint Ronan of Brittany, Th�ophile: Three Plays in Verse (Classic Reprint) in southern Colorado Black Friday (Maggie ODell, is not my first topic of Madrid interest Andrews made this study readable Das Urantia Buch insightful and compelling

Read Ç eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ´ Thomas G. Andrews

N and workers’ resistance Brilliantly conceived and written this book takes the organic world as its starting point The resulting elucidation of the coalfield wars goes far beyond traditional labor history Considering issues of social and environmental justice in the context of an economy dependent on fossil fuel Andrews makes a powerful case for rethinking the relationships that unite and divide workers consumers capitalists and the natural world 200902. Fascinating analysis of the influence of coal on the development of the American West and painful labor strife which accompanied it

Thomas G. Andrews ´ 7 characters

On a spring morning in 1914 in the stark foothills of southern Colorado members of the United Mine Workers of America clashed with guards employed by the Rockefeller family and a state militia beholden to Colorado’s industrial barons When the dust settled nineteen men women and children among the miners’ families lay dead The strikers had killed at least thirty men destroyed six mines and laid waste to two company towns Killing for Coal offers a bold a. now we or at least they kill for oil in the past and actually it continues we killed for coal the state in which i live has a rather unknown history of literal armed struggle between this state's miners many of whom were immigrants and the us military it happened it telluride in the northern fields east of boulder around louisville and of course at ludlow `killing for coal' gives a sense of how when it comes to producing the energy necessary for industrialization and our modern fetus for `things'that the process was as ruthless in the past as it is today cheers rob p


10 thoughts on “Killing for Coal America's Deadliest Labor War

  1. says:

    now we or at least they kill for oil in the past and actually it continues we killed for coal the state in which i live has a rather unknown history of literal armed struggle between this state's miners many of whom were immigrants and the us military it happened it telluride in the northern fields east of boulder around louisville and of course at ludlow `killing for coal' gives a sense of how when it comes to producing the energy necessary for industrialization and our modern fetus for `things'that the process was as ruthless in the past as it is today cheers rob p


  2. says:

    Thomas Andrews’ work Killing for Coal America’s Deadliest Labor War presents a detailed history of the fighting and tensions between coal miners and employers in southern Colorado Andrews begins his work with a description of the “Ludlow Massacre” or “Ludlow Battle” that took place on April 20 1914 Throughout the rest of his work Andrews explains why both of these nomenclatures do not properly describe the events that happened in Ludlow Andrews provides immense details about the life of coal miners in southern Colorado and the events that contributed to a large labor strike that culminated in a violent outbreak at the Ludlow tent community


  3. says:

    This book takes a look at the uprising of coal miners and how they after the destruction of a tent villagego on a rampage because of the deaths of women and children its interesting compelling and easy to understand why these men resorted to the lengths they did after years of attempting to get some sort of boost in pay while making the rest of the world work in the middle of a period where everyone was dependent on coal


  4. says:

    Outstanding book The best history book I've read in many years and I read a lot of history If you are interested in labor history environmental history the history of migration Western American history business history or just a great read this is well worth your time No wonder it won so many prizes when published


  5. says:

    I was partial to this book even before I read it The author is the son of a college friend The book is his history dissertation published by Harvard University Press a very special recognition While coal mining in southern Colorado is not my first topic of interest Andrews made this study readable insightful and compelling


  6. says:

    This is a really well written and fascinating look at coal mining in Colorado I don't love labor or environmental history Andrews focus but the book was so well written and researched that it read like a social history and was really enjoyable


  7. says:

    Fascinating analysis of the influence of coal on the development of the American West and painful labor strife which accompanied it


  8. says:

    HistoryThe Ludlow Massacre was the culmination of the UMWA Strike in Colorado September 1913 December 1914 which was pronounced the deadliest labor war in the history of the United States claiming about 200 victims over the course of 18 months Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owned by the Rockefellers was one of the biggest in the West John Rockefeller was notoriously anti union and reacted to the strike by evicting the miners from their company lodgings and hiring guards who molested the workers by shooting into their temporary homes tents On April 20th 1914 the company’s guards attacked a group of unarmed strikers causing the deaths of 26 people 11 children and 2 women among them The news of this atrocity spread through Colorado Fuel and Iron like fire and on 22nd of April 1914 the whole working force of the company armed and indignant revolted After ten days of battle and at least 50 dead President Woodrow Wilson finally sent in the National Guard which disarmed the both sidesDejavuThe Strike of 1913 1914 successfully – due to being outrageously sanguinary – drew the public’s attention to the plight of the miners and their families but it was neither a single occurrence of miner revoltingThe living conditions of the mine workers disturbingly resemble those of the slaves in the rural South intolerably long workday hard physical work low salaries no opportunity to change their workplaces In “Killing for Coal” Thomas G Andrews has included the reminiscence of an African American miner Alfred Owensp171Owens recalled how he and his white partner would josh each other at day’s end “When we’d come out I’d look at him and his face would be all dirty we didn’t see noth ing but white with his teeth and I’d laugh at him He’d say what are you laughing at? I’d say you’re so black He’d say well what do you think about yourself ?”This uote bears a symbolical meaning Not only are all the workers black faced they are all eually “black” in the eyes of the company owners They are nothing than slaves The employment of children in the mines makes the resemblance to slavery even striking Their cheap labor was used for all sorts and purposes They were driversbreakers miners Emaciated and diseased they struggled alongside their parents to earn a bare subsistence wage A major reason for the employees’ discontent was the lack of safety measures in the mines Only in 1913 accidents took a heavy toll of human life about 100 workers The mistake of the 19th century railroad building described profoundly in Richard White’s “Railroaded” repeated itself First there was another boom of Chinese and Japanese employment aka exploitation which costed a lot of American miners their workplaces Second the greedy company owners completely disregarded the safety measures which could have spared hundreds of lives and when an incident occurred John Rockefeller – like all the other mining and railroad magnates – was “deeply sorry” In my opinion all of the above justifies the coal miners’ strikeOf Mice and Mules and MenThomas G Andrews shows the reader who the miner was He shows how he toils and laughs and fights for his rights “Killing for Coal” is an interestingly written account of the reasons and conseuences of the Ludlow Massacre Andrews’ work is interspersed with articulate photographs and stories from the workers the author has interviewed Ludlow Massacre is an event to remember and “Killing for Coal” is a book to read because it represents the slavery of today and the struggle of the whole laboring class for survival which aren’t yet over in our world


  9. says:

    KILLING FOR COAL is a labor history of miners in the southern coalfields of Colorado during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century It may be considered an environmental history because it addresses among the social political and cultural dimensions of labor relations between miners and capitalists the natural and ecological dimensions and setting of the region’s history Andrews introduces the term “workscape” that “treats people as laboring beings who have changed and been changed in turn by a natural world that remains always under construction” 125 The boundaries between nature and culture melt away and form a blurry whole which gives place to his assertion that “Great industrialists like the Rockefellers soldiers like W E Lane and strike leaders like Louis Tikas are not the only characters in this story Mules and molten steel arid climates and Irish potato plots explosive gases and most of all a humble rock that burns all have roles to play Together they tell the story of how half a century of contentious interactions between workers capitalists and nature set the stage for ten days of class warfare that brought southern Colorado to the brink of revolution” 19The danger of coalfields is compared to deep sea diving and even space exploration as it can often be dark disorienting and dangerous The coal itself is a powder keg located in gaseous subterranean fires that just need a ignition spark from a dropped lamp or a carelessly struck match to ignite Andrews does point out an important paradoxical situation of coal mining The author also talks about how animals—mice and mules in particular—were vital to Colorado coal mining He also demonstrates the paradoxical fact that even as coal extraction moved the national economy to a fossilized mineral economy it relied heavily on human brawn and organic energy supplies to extract it 96 This continued throughout the first third of the twentieth century in America until mechanization techniues lessoned the dependence on human labor and then finally as coal extraction largely became cheaper to do overseas by the final two decades of the twentieth century Thus the transition phase is nuanced here than elsewhere in historical accounts Hence the following well articulated point “Industrialization” too often reduces the complexity of its parts emphasizing the technological Rather it is “the interconnected social political economic and environmental changes that we too casually subsume under the catchall phrase “industrialization’” 18As labor unions demanded the right to unionize and claim rights to better working conditions—better pay and safer conditions in particular—company owners were adamant about saving costs and maintaining power Very importantly timbering—or the building of wooden supports into the mining tunnels was considered “dead work” and went unpaid—pay was based on tonnage of coal extracted; this resulted in many unsafe conditions that miners justifiably felt was unfair 139 In the end a deadly strike ensued that reuired the Colorado National Guard and later federal troops to restore order The role of women was significant both in the striking and the breaking of the strike—a thousand woman march on Denver’s Capitol building precipitated the Governor’s call to President Wilson to send federal troops Problems would persist but Ludlow massacre April 20 1914— in which 18 strikers were killed including women and children—and the retaliation by strikers known as the 10 Days War would mark the high point of bloody confrontations in the coal labor movementThe Ludlow as battle vs Ludlow as massacre narratives have competed for salience in the historical review of the Great Colorado Coalfield War from 1913 1914 in which there were at least 75 and maybe 100 casualties In the end however Andrews argues that “To fully understand the Great Coalfield War and its significance we need to move beyond partial memories and polarizing stories The perpetuation of the Ludlow as massacre story distorts our ability to understand the tumultuous relationship between mineworkers mine operators and the state” In reality the strikers took lives of the militia than vice versa—they were not a passive bunch acted upon but active agents They were also a diverse group of immigrants “Such interpretations seem to underscore a key premise of twentieth century politics that working class people can best achieve euality fairness and justice not through collective uprisings from below but rather through the intervention of national unions the Democratic Party and the federal government” 15 Andrews does a decent job of giving a fair account of this difficult history that has been turned to myth by many on both sides of the labor versus capital dispute While I appreciate the effort and work of making this an environmental history I think it only offers a setting for rather than a convincing cause of the Ludlow Massacre and the Great Coalfield War In other words this is a labor history before an environmental history Nothing wrong with a little overlap and interdisciplinarity though; I'll drink to that


  10. says:

    In his book Killing for Coal America’s Deadliest Labor War Thomas C Andrews explores the causes that led to the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the following Ten Day’s War that enveloped the southern Colorado mining fields Andrews seeks to remove Ludlow from the narrow confines of past interpretations of Ludlow as massacre and Ludlow as battle by placing it within a larger context With extensive archival evidence Andrews argues that Ludlow and the Great Coalfield War were a result of half a century’s conflict between nature consumers large business owners and miners Most significantly his argument shows that the conflict in Colorado is a microcosm of the larger labor struggle that permeates American history and society today as well as suggests a relationship between physical energy and social power Killing for Coal is organized into two different movements first the development of the mining industry in Colorado and second the development of the miner mentality and discontent These two movements lend understanding to the final chapter that relates the events of the Ludlow massacre and the ten day Coalfield War However underlying Andrews’ entire argument is the premise that every event is intrinsically connected to nature This lends cohesion to the book as a wholeWhile Andrews attempts to take readers beyond Ludlow as massacre and Ludlow as battle he fails to always stay on middle ground The largest portion of his book comprising chapters 3 4 5 and partially 6 is devoted to developing the grievances of miners that would lead them to strike and then react violently to the events at Ludlow This could be in part due to his own family history—he is descended from miners It could also be due to the modern viewpoint of labor movements as heroic battles and workers as exploited victims Perhaps the greatest weakness of this book however is the premise upon which it is built Andrews attempts to use the environment as the fundamental source of conflict but leaves it underdeveloped In other words he sees history motivated by the environment but fails to fully prove this in Killing for Coal It is obvious that without coal there would have been no coal mining labor struggle This assumption is necessary However Andrews states that nature particularly coal was a form of social power that shaped Western identity defined miners views of themselves and ultimately gave rise to the labor conflict Overall while professing to purport an environmental argument Andrew’s evidence and arguments are social and economic This bias that favors the environment as a motivator of history could be a result of the modern views of the environment Society as a whole is developing a “green” consciousness that forces us to ask how the environment has been affected by us and how we have been affected by the environmentOn the other hand the primary source evidence Andrew uses is impressive Andrews uses personal interviews memoirs newspapers court cases business reports and an array of secondary sources to validate his conclusions The decade of scholarship that Andrews put into this book is immediately apparent through his use of sources in the text and the extensive endnotes Further Andrews uses those sources in interesting attention grabbing ways such as using direct uotes from the strikers These move the grand narrative of the journey to Ludlow along so that even through there is not one easily identified plot or character readers are entertained as well as informed Additionally Andrews employs an accessible writing style that is relatively free of academic jargon and uses of photographs and charts to maintain reader interest and promote his argument At times Andrews waxes almost poetic in his description of the coal industry and the labor struggle which supports my analysis of his bias towards strikers For example he describes coal as “the humble rock without which this brave new world would not have come into being” pg 234 Photographs and charts are used sparingly which makes their presence dynamic in the context of the authors argument such as the photo of a striking family in front of the tent colony pg 256 The picture of men women and children living in tents in the dead cold of Colorado winter makes the plight and courage of striking mining families understandable Overall Andrew succeeds in proving that Ludlow and the Great Coalfield War were a product of over fifty years events that built up tension between capitalists and laborers He is less clear in his conclusions about the role of nature and consumers but in the context of his research and writing these are minor weaknesses Killing for Coal America’s Deadliest Labor War enriches our understanding of the West in the 20th century by providing an interesting examination of the effects of massive migration labor struggles and the advent of industry that began this period Overall this book is well worth reading


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