The Road to Blair Mountain
Saving a Mine Wars Battlefield from King Coal
by Charles B. Keeney
published January 2021
ISBN: 9781949199857

I have honest-to-goodness read just about anything I could get my hands on -- books, articles, research, etc. -- about the West Virginia Mine Wars because I find it fascinating. I come from coal miners on both sides, and staunch unionists on my dad's, and am a bit of a labor history buff, so this sort of thing shows up hard on my radar.

Before reading this book, do at least some light Googling on the Battle of Blair Mountain. You need to know why it matters so much that the battleground be studied and preserved and why this history must be uncovered and taught. Professor Keeney discusses this a bit, but I'm not sure how strongly this book will land for someone totally unfamiliar with Blair Mountain.

I remember when the events of this book were going on beginning in 2011 and how I so wanted to be involved. Alas, I was in grad school and working about a hundred part time jobs, so traveling there was not an option. But I was watching, admiring. And now I get to read about what was going on and the tough decisions that had to be made.

This is overall a fascinating read about political maneuvering in a state that is so deeply entrenched in corporatocracy in which "King Coal" has bought everything up, including the hearts and minds of those it exploits the most.