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Black Gold: The History of How Coal Made Britain

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It would be hard to exaggerate the way that the illumination of homes and cities changed people’s attitudes. They exercised a powerful influence on the labour movement even, and perhaps especially, after they had left the mines. Somehow , someway, I had a sneaking suspicion good ol' Paxo would find a way to take a dig at Trump in a book about coal in Britain. Unlike Paxman, Miller, who is writing a work of literary criticism interspersed with an environmental polemic, rarely explains any positive effects of coal and steam, so for most of the book it seems solely an example of exploitive capitalism with benefits solely for the very few.

Paxo brings it all to life – the men, women and children toiling in the dark, in conditions no one could endure today.All the working people in this country were paying, through their taxes, to keep those remaining miners in the hard, dirty and dangerous labour to which they had become so accustomed. I thought the death of coal mining in the UK was a political decision, which it certainly was, steered by Thatcher and aided by Scargill, but I had never realised that the end was simply bringing forward the inevitable. And while sympathetic to the development of the unions who improved the lot of their members he also sees the failings of the NUM especially regarding the strike of 1983/84.

Furthermore, if those who decide the allocations of the real and unreal are cruel, mad or colossally wrong, what then? His regular appearances on the BBC2's Newsnight programme have been criticised as aggressive, intimidating, condescending and irreverent, and applauded as tough and incisive. Heat from coal offered freedom from the ravages of frost and cold, which amounted to freedom from the calendar.If you already know British history then some of the information won't be new to you, but it gains new context here, demonstrating how coal, this dirty rock which caused so much human misery and polluted the environment, was a vitally important factor in the development of the country.

The second time, he correctly dates it to July 1984, but still repeats the anti-Thatcher propaganda line that she was referring to the miners in general. A 1914 calculation showed that a miner was severely injured every two hours, and one killed every six hours. In addition to discussions of canonical works like Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, Sons and Lovers, The Mill on the Floss, and Hard Times, the book introduces us to Fanny Mayne’s Jane Rutherford: or, the Miners’s Strike, H. John Hoskyns, who ran the Number 10 Policy Unit from 1979 until early 1982, wrote to Thatcher, ‘The main value of a willingness to take on the miners is its deterrent effect: just like the nuclear bomb, you hope never to have to use it. From the bestselling historian and acclaimed broadcaster ‘A rich social history … Paxman’s book could hardly be more colourful, and I enjoyed each page enormously’ DOMINIC SANDBROOK, SUNDAY TIMES ‘Vividly told … Paxman’s fine narrative powers are at their best’ THE TIMES Coal is the commodity that made Britain.Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Fascinating , scathing comments on the major figures, esp the mine owners, MPS etc but also Unio leaders. Coal drove the Industrial Revolution and the primacy of the British Empire, but more than that, freed humans for the first time from the rhythm of nature. He is critical of Arthur Scargill while acknowledging that his claim that the government planned to close a great many pits - derided and disbelieved at the time including by Paxman- turned out to be completely true. Both mention the development of steam engines, their bringing forth coal from the earth, and the society, economics, politics, and culture they produced.

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