Between 1880 and 1922, the coal fields of southern West Virginia witnessed two bloody and protracted strikes, the formation of two competing unions, and the largest armed conflict in American labor history—a week-long battle between 20,000 coal miners and 5,000 state police, deputy sheriffs, and mine guards. These events resulted in an untold number of deaths, indictments of over 550 coal miners for insurrection and treason, and four declarations of martial law. Corbin argues that these violent events were collective and militant acts of aggression interconnected and conditioned by decades of oppression. His study goes a long way toward breaking down the old stereotypes of Appalachian and coal mining culture. This second edition contains a new preface and afterword by author David A. Corbin.
David A. Corbin served as a Senate staffer for twenty-six years—six years on the leadership staff of Senate majority leader Byrd and ten years on the leadership staffs of Senate majority leaders George Mitchell and Tom Daschle. He also served as Senator Byrd’s speechwriter for the last ten years of his career. Corbin is the editor of The West Virginia Mine Wars: An Anthologyand the author ofThe Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd’s Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents. He received his PhD in history from the University of Maryland and lives in Annapolis.