In The Devil Is Here in These Hills, tells the story of West Virginia and coal like never before.
From before the dawn of the twentieth century until the arrival of the New Deal, one of the most protracted and deadly labor struggles in American history was waged in West Virginia. On one side were powerful corporations whose millions bought armed guards and political influence. On the other side were fifty thousand mine workers, the nation’s largest labor union, and the legendary “miners’ angel,” Mother Jones. The fight for unionization and civil rights sparked a political crisis that verged on civil war, stretching from the creeks and hollows to the courts and the U.S. Senate.
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“The story James Green has to tell … is among the best and largely forgotten American stories. It’s about property rights versus human rights, about hard men and women and about violent conflict. It’s a tale about a working-class insurgency that’s as piney as an Appalachian ballad.”
—Dwight Garner, Book Critic, New York Times