The near destruction of the coal industry and the NUM offers a timely vantage point from which to appraise their history. This book presents a collection of specially commissioned essays by leading authorities on miners' history, which challenge the stereotypical imagery of miners' solidarity and loyalty to the Labour Party. This book examines the politics of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, the unique influences of syndicalism and communism within some of its constituent areas, and the uneven pace of the Labour Party's 'forward march' within the coalfields. Such national developments are then studied within their diverse regional contexts through a series of case studies which permits comparison between the major British coalfields. Finally, the book considers the attempts to overcome these regional diversities with the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers and the nationalisation of the mining industry.
Table of Contents
Contributors; List of Tables; List of Maps and Figures; List of Abbreviations; Introduction, Alan Campbell, Nina Fishman, David Howell; Part One: National Perspectives; "A Cult of Their Own": Syndicalism and The Miners' Next Step, David Egan; "All or Nowt": The Politics of the MFGB, David Howell; The Labour Party and Electoral Politics in the Coalfields, Duncan Tanner; Heroes and Anti-heroes: Communists in the Coalfields, Nina Fishman; Part Two: Regional Studies; "The Hope of the British Proletariat: The South Wales Miners, 1910-1947, Chris Williams; The Social History of Political Conflict in the Scots Coalfields, 1910-1939, Alan Campbell; The Miners, Unions and Politics in Nottinghamshire, 1910-47, David Gilbert; Work, Class and Community: Social Identities and Political Change in the Lancashire Coalfield, 1910-1939, Trevor Griffiths; The Politics of Labourism in the Yorkshire Coalfield, 1926-45, Andrew Taylor; Part Three: Outcomes: Learning from Bitter Experience: The Making of the NUM, Hywel Francis; The Beginning of the Beginning: The Miners and Nationalisation, 1947, Nina Fishman; Index.
'A useful volume for modern economic history collections supporting upper-division undergraduates or graduate students, especially those studying modern Britain and modern European labor.' Choice 'There has always been a constant demand for works on Labour and Trade Union history and this publication will be particularly useful to students, and others, who wish to read a good introductory work....be they in the field of politics or history.' Political Studies, Vol. XLVI