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King Coal

by Upton Sinclair

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From Library Journal
King Coal (1917) is to the mining world what Sinclair's The Jungle is to the meat-packing industry. Through protagonist Hal Warner, Sinclair reveals the abuses faced by immigrant mine workers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
Upton Sinclair is best known for writing The Jungle -- a novel that exposes the practices of the meat packing industry that lead to governmental investigations and changed food laws in America.

King Coal is based on the 1914 and 1915 coal strikes and follows Hal Warner, a rich man who wanted a look into commoners' lives. What he found there was abhorrent -- thus begins the tale of unionization and the advocacy workers' rights. Unionization, however, is easier spoken of than it is accomplished. It was a dangerous task -- for the leaders of the coal mines were hardened men, men who would not stop at petty threats and minor violence.

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Hal stood looking at the cheering crowd. He had time to note some of the faces upturned to him. Pitiful, toil-worn faces they were, each making its separate appeal, telling its individual story of deprivation and defeat. Once more they were transfigured, shining with that wonderful new light which he had seen for the first time the previous evening. It had been crushed for a moment, but it flamed up again; it would never die in the hearts of men--once they had learned the power it gave. Nothing Hal had yet seen moved him so much as this new birth of enthusiasm. A beautiful, a terrible thing it was!



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