Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thunder in the Mountains

Thunder In the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21Over the summer I read Thunder In the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21.  It is about the largest armed insurrection in US history.  About ten thousand miners rode, drove and marched from Charleston, West Virginia to Blair Mountain.  There they had an armed stand-off, with occasional gunfire, with about five thousand men made up mostly of deputized citizens and some State Police along a 10 mile line.  This went on for 3 days until the Governor convinced the President to send the military.  The miners disarmed and surrendered without a fight, because their fight was not against the US Government, it was against the mine operators.  

I grew up 10 or 15 miles from where this happened and I did not hear anything about it until maybe 10 years ago.  The book is very readable.  A lot of it is in short snippets of news stories.  It was very interesting to read things I did not know about the town I lived in and about a couple of people I knew.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes history, and specifically West Virginia History.

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