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Monongah: The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster, the Worst Industrial Accident in US History (West Virginia and Appalachia) [Hardcover]

By Davitt McAteer (Author)
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Item description for Monongah: The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster, the Worst Industrial Accident in US History (West Virginia and Appalachia) by Davitt McAteer...

To commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Monongah, West Virginia mine disaster, the West Virginia University Press is honored to release Davitt McAteer's definitive history of the worst industrial accident in US history. Monongah documents the events which led to the explosion that claimed hundreds of lives on the morning of December 6, 1907. Nearly thirty years of exhaustive research have led McAteer to the conclusion that close to 500 men and boys many of them immigrants lost their lives that day, leaving hundreds of women widowed and more than 1,000 children orphaned. McAteer delves deeply into the personalities, economic forces, and social landscape of the mining communities of north central West Virginia at the beginning of the twentieth century. The tragedy at Monongah led to a greater awareness of industrial working conditions, and ultimately to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, which Davitt McAteer helped to enact.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   331
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.12"
Weight:   1.59 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 6, 2007
Publisher   West Virginia University Press
ISBN  1933202297  
ISBN13  9781933202297  

Availability  0 units.

More About Davitt McAteer

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Davitt McAteer is internationally recognized as an expert on mine and workplace health and safety. He has worked with consumer advocate Ralph Nader to enact the 1969 Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. He was also involved in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero shortly after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. He has also conducted an independent investigation on the cause of the Sago Mine Disaster. Today, McAteer is vice president of Wheeling Jesuit University and maintains a law office in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where he lives with his wife Kathryn.

Davitt McAteer currently resides in Shepherdstown, in the state of West Virginia. Davitt McAteer was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > United States
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > West Virginia
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Current Events > Disaster Relief
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Civil > Mining
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Environmental > Mining
7Books > Subjects > Science > Earth Sciences > Prospecting & Mining

Reviews - What do customers think about Monongah: The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster, the Worst Industrial Accident in US History (West Virginia and Appalachia)?

A Tribute to the Victims of the Monongh Mine Disaster  Jan 10, 2008
The story of the Monongah Mine Disaster written by Davitt McAteer honors the memory of the men and women whom helped to build this country with the sweat, blood and tears of their years of toil. McAteer takes the reader through the background of not only the mine disaster itself but also through the historically important moments that led up to and through the time period of 1907. These moments cascade upon the reader as they experience the events through the actual recollections of the miners themselves.
McAteer has done a wonderful job of combining the exacting details of the day while pulling the reader into the very lives of the miners and the industrialist that had such a cause and effect relationship. This volatile relationship of the American Miner and their counterpart; the Industrialist, has lasted throughout today.

As the tragedy of that fateful December day unfolds the reader can not help but see and fully understand how the countries desire for growth, driven by the reckless push for forward progress, was destined to collide in a very tragic tragic accident.

Brien Jones-Lantzy
The sum is greater than the parts  Jan 2, 2008
On 6 December 1907, an explosion in the Fairmont Coal Company's Mines 6 & 8 in Monongah, Marion County, West Virginia, killed 500+ miners. This is a detailed study of that disaster. Before I actually put these words to paper, I was somewhat negative about Monongah, but for the wrong reasons. That would have been pretty stupid on my part, and would have placed form over substance. (Also, it would have run afoul of TR's comments about it not being the critic who counts, but that the credit belongs to the one "who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly . . .".) The author, Davitt McAteer, is a native of Fairmont (right up the road from Monongah) who now practices law in Shepherdstown. (His sister is a friend and very gracious lady.) He served honorably as the head of MSHA during the Clinton Administration. Having come out of the United Mine Workers of America, he was less than the darling of the coal operators while in government. (The owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, which collapsed killing 6 miners and and 3 rescuers in 2007, spoke of McAteer with fluent contempt in a press conference broadcast on CNN.)
To grade this book, we have to grade several subjects:
Research/Scholarship - A
Organization - B+
Editing - D
Overall Value - A+
McAteer researched Monongah for 30 years. (If he plans to match the output of a Michener, he needs to move a little quicker.) The length and depth of the research shows. Nearly all of the sources are primary ones, and the book is extensively end-noted. McAteer's writing isn't Michener, but particularly when he is talking about people, and how people lived, he does so with passion and such unusual detail that one can clearly see the images. The descriptions of the miners' poverty in the squalor of company houses are so real that they are painful. The organization is a touch chaotic, but I might be unfair about that one. McAteer is covering a single large event which had several coherent lines of development going at once, so a strict chronology is impossible. At times, the book is redundant, but that's really more of an editing problem.
Ah, editing. Monongah is the unfortunate victim of inadequate, even inept editing, so much so that it takes willing suspension of disbelief to get past that to the value of the work. Whoever edited this used spell-check but didn't read the manuscript itself very closely. There are several instances where homonyms or similar words are confused ("to" rather than "too", "road" rather than "roar", "Triangle Shirt Waste Factory" rather than "Triangle Shirt Waist . . ."), poor grammar (" . . . they were paid a hourly wages") and some silly factual mistakes. (West Virginia was formed in 1863, not 1865; the hotel in Wheeling is McClure House, not McLure House; President Taft's Christian names were "William Howard," not "Howard A.") For 30 bucks, more attention should have been paid to the details. There are also errors that I'm probably too petty in noticing that wouldn't distract any reader save one who has walked the ground where the disaster happened. (I've been there many times, and every time I go to my father-in-law's house, I park on the streetcar right-of-way that figures prominently in McAteer's account.) McAteer isn't heavy on historical interpretation (an attitude that I heartily approve of), and most of what he does sounds reasonable to me. (I think he misses the point of Theodore Roosevelt's intervention in the 1902 Anthracite Strike, but that's subject to honest disagreement.) SO, overall, if you set aside my own literary/grammatical fastidiousness, Monongah is an engaging and timely look at an important event and a turbulent time in our nation's industrial and social history.
There is a children's book (The Monongah Mining Disaster, by Jason Skog) due to be published in January 2008. It will be interesting to see what view that author presents to youngsters.


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