From the Stacks: February 10, 2006

February 10, 2006

| February 2006

Utne receives some 1,200 magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, and zines. Add in hundreds of books, CDs, and DVDs, and it's a flood of media that lines the walls of our library and piles high on our desks. All the ideas, people, and stories inspire lively daily chatter, but can't all fit into our bimonthly magazine. So we've decided to share the gems here: Welcome to the third edition of "From the Stacks," a new weekly feature on Check in every Friday for the freshest highlights of the independent and alternative media.

Received here in the wake of recent coal mining accidents in West Virginia, William C. Blizzard's When Miners March (Appalachian Community Services, 304-927-5333) is a contemporary (but uncorrected) edition of a work serialized in a newspaper called Labor's Daily in 1952 and 1953. The book describes how unionized coal miners in West Virginia in the early '20s battled an army of private coal company detectives backed by federal troops who attacked miners from the air. You know a bit of the story if you've seen the John Sayles film Matewan, and more if you've read Lon Savage's 1982 Thunder in the Mountains, David Alan Corbin's The West Virginia Mine Wars (1990), or Robert Shogan's The Battle of Blair Mountain (2004). Blizzard's book, however, is closer to the sources than those. Not only was it written when some of the key players were still alive, its author is the son of chief protagonist Bill Blizzard, who led the miners' march and was tried on treason charges for his efforts. -- Chris Dodge