Coal gets a bad rap these days—and rightly so, from an environmental standpoint. Yet, it should not be forgotten,
States through the 19th and well
into the 20th century.
It was coal that fueled the industrialization of the
and made it the most productive nation in the world for a long period of time.
My book “Digging Dusky Diamonds” is not intended to glorify the industry but to offer some insight on the lives of the ordinary men who worked as miners and their families in one area of
Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region.
The wilderness pioneers found when they arrived was destroyed in less than a century by the mining that provided wealth for a handful and employment for the thousands who came to do the dangerous, dirty and vital work.
The miners were representative of the melting pot characteristic Americans love to brag about. They represented dozens of nationalities and various races. They were mostly moral, hardworking people who sought a better life for their families than available elsewhere.
The stories recounted in the book were culled from contemporary newspapers, which reveal the daily concerns of the miners and their families, their diversions, social attitudes and prejudices. The accounts reveal what was different about those people and what has remained constant in their descendants.
Why should someone with no ties to the coal region find the book of interest? Well, aside from the economic angle, there’s the common theme of people striving for upward mobility against great odds. There are accounts of disasters, bravery, superstition, amusements, and the callow behavior of those reaping the big profit. There’s also the fact mining contributed to changes in labor laws which had broad influence across the nation and in other industries.
You can buy your copy here http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Digging-Dusky-Diamonds-9781620062685.htm
Or here, http://www.amazon.com/Digging-Dusky-Diamonds-History-Pennsylvania/dp/1620062682/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_dnr_1
Or, ask your favorite bookseller.