King Coal

Upton Sinclair

King Coal, by Upton Sinclair - click to see full size image

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King Coal is a novel by American writer Upton Sinclair, first published in 1917. The book exposes the harsh and dangerous conditions faced by coal miners in the early 20th century, and the story revolves around Hal Warner, a young man from the East who comes to the coal-mining town of North Valley, Colorado, to work as a miner. He is shocked by the appalling working conditions, including long hours, low pay, and dangerous machinery. He also learns about the corrupt system that is run by the coal company, which exploits the miners and suppresses any attempts at unionization. As Hal becomes more involved in the miners' struggle for better working conditions, he grows close to Mary Burke, a local girl who is also an activist in the labor movement. Hal's demand for better rights for the workers is met with violent opposition from the coal company and the government, including the use of private armies and police brutality. Despite the dangers and setbacks, Hal continues to fight for justice and equality for the miners. King Coal was written shortly after the Ludlow massacre, a mass killing that was carried out by anti-striker militia in 1914. Soldiers from the Colorado National Guard and private guards employed by Colorado Fuel and Iron Company attacked roughly 1,200 striking coal miners and their families, killing 21 people, including miners' wives and children.

This book has 123,520 words, 278 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1917.

Production notes: This ebook of King Coal was published by Global Grey on the 15th April 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Descent of the miners into the shaft' by Constantin Meunier.

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