When the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times by Thomas DublinWhen the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times by Thomas Dublin

When the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times

byThomas DublinPhotographed byGeorge Harvan

Paperback | July 30, 1998

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The anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania, five hundred square miles of rugged hills stretching between Tower City and Carbondale, harbored coal deposits that once heated virtually all the homes and businesses in Eastern cities. At its peak during World War I, the coal industry here employed 170,000 miners, and supported almost 1,000,000 people. Today, with coal workers numbering 1,500, only 5,000 people depend on the industry for their livelihood. Between these two points in time lies a story of industrial decline, of working people facing incremental and cataclysmic changes in their world. When the Mines Closed tells this story in the words of men and women who experienced these dramatic changes and in more than eighty photographs of these individuals, their families, and the larger community.Award-winning historian Thomas Dublin interviewed a cross-section of residents and migrants from the region, who gave their own accounts of their work and family lives before and after the mines closed. Most of the narrators, six men and seven women, came of age during the Great Depression and entered area mines or, in the case of the women, garment factories, in their teens. They describe the difficult choices they faced, and the long-standing ethnic, working-class values and traditions they drew upon, when after World War II the mines began to shut down. Some left the region, others commuted to work at a distance, still others struggled to find employment locally.The photographs taken by George Harvan, a lifelong resident of the area and the son of a Slovak-born coal miner, document residents' lives over the course of fifty years. Dublin's introductory essay offers a brief history of anthracite mining and the region and establishes a broader interpretive framework for the narratives and photographs.
Thomas Dublin is State University of New York Distinguished Professor of History at Binghamton University. He is the author or editor of several books, includingWhen the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times, also from Cornell.
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Title:When the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard TimesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.27 inPublished:July 30, 1998Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801484677

ISBN - 13:9780801484674

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Editorial Reviews

"One of Thomas Dublin's most striking qualities is his commitment to uncovering every possible shred of evidence in his pursuit of historical 'truth.' Another is the grace and clarity of his prose."—Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill