The Challenges Of Surviving The Industrialization Era

1148 Words Nov 3rd, 2014 5 Pages
Caleb Holbrook
Catherine Herdman
APP 200
October 27, 2014

The Challenges of Surviving the Industrialization era

This is a historical fiction book that takes place in Appalachia, near the border of West Virginia and Kentucky between the late 1800s and early 1900s. This is the same area where the Hatfields and McCoys were feuding just a few years earlier, although none of these characters mention them. We see railroads and coal companies taking the land of the townspeople. With their land gone, they have no choice but to work in the coal mines, living in company towns and at the mercy of the company store. Any efforts to organize to get better working and living conditions were brutally put down by the coal companies and their hired "gun thugs" from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. This culminates in the Battle of Blair Mountain, when the US Army was brought in and attacked the striking miners. The book is based on real but often forgotten events. The author Denise Giardina armed with the knowledge from her own experiences from growing up as and immigrant’s daughter in the same coalfields. It is easy to forget, in this day and age, the hardships that people survived and endured and the reason that unions came into being. The characters Rondal and C.J. Marcum from Storming Heaven resisted the negative consequences of industrialization in their own unique ways. The main impacts from the book are the immigration of big coal bosses into small Appalachia communities, the…
Open Document