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The value of West Virginia's coalfields had been known for decades, and after rail arrived in the 1870s, industrialists pushed fast into the wilderness, digging mines and building company towns where they wielded nearly complete control over everyday life. The state's high-quality coal drove American expansion and industrialization. But for tens of thousands of laborers, including boys as young as 10, mining life showed the bitter irony of the state motto: "mountaineers are always free". Attempts to unionize were met with stiff resistance. Fundamental rights were bent, then broken, and the violence evolved from bloody skirmishes to open armed conflict as an army of miners marched to an explosive showdown. Extensively researched and told in vibrant detail, The Devil Is Here in These Hills is the definitive book on an essential chapter in the history of American freedom.
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By Chris Brooks on 03-11-18
Phenomenal labor history, riveting narrative
If you are looking for an in-depth narrative labor history of the West Virginia mine wars, then look no further. Green’s “The Devil Is Here In These Hills” blends first rate story telling with multifaceted analysis of the land, people, companies, politicians and culture of Appalachian West Virginia. Narrator Joel Richards is first rate. Listened to this audible for hours at a time. Highly recommended.
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