When Miners March by William Blizzard: a review

Odd and interesting. This is an account of events in West Virginia’s coal fields during 1921 and 1922, especially the march to Blair Mountain in ’22–with two decades’ context. It was written roughly 30 years after the events it describes, and the author’s father was one of the principal characters in the confrontation.

The author was a journalist in the fifties, writing for a labor newspaper, and this book was originally a daily series in that paper written and published over the course of about three months. It works surprisingly well, under those circumstances; while the daily breaks are shown in the text, they had little impact on the organization and don’t much effect readability.

This book is essentially unsourced and shows an unabashed labor bias; it shouldn’t be quoted without another source. But the main facts are here and well-described; an essential resource for mining or labor researchers.


This review was originally published on LibraryThing.