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The shadow of the mine : coal and the end of industrial Britain

ISBN: 9781839767982
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Verso (UBD)
Origin: GB
Release Date: July, 2024

Book Details

It is forty years since the Miners’ Strike against Thatcher’s shutdown of the coal industry. The Shadow of the Mine tells the story of King Coal in its heyday, the heroics and betrayals of 1984-85, and what happened to mining communities after the last pits closed. This new edition includes a Postscript looking back on the Miners’ Strike and at just transitions to clean energy and the state of the Labour Party in the 2020s. No one personified the age of industry more than the miners. Coal was central to the British economy, powering its factories & railways. It carried political weight, too. Defeat in 1984-85 foretold the death of a way of life. Soon tens of thousands were cast onto an unforgiving labour market or incapacity benefits. The lingering sense of abandonment in these areas is difficult to overstate. As one former miner puts it, people feel like ‘kites without a wind’. Yet British electoral politics revolves around the coalfield constituencies that lent their votes to the Conservatives in 2019. Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson draw on decades of research to chronicle these momentous changes through the words of the people who lived through them.