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Further Reading

Carawan, Guy and Candie. (1975). Voices From the Mountains. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

A collection of songs, words, and photographs documenting the social and labor protests of 20th century Appalachia. Compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan, inveterate musicians and educators of grassroots struggles.

Dreiser, Theodore. (2008). Harlan Miners Speak: Report on Terrorism in the Kentucky Coal Fields. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

The most current edition of Harlan Miners Speak with a valuable forward by John C. Hennen. An original first edition is located in the Herndon J. Evans Collection

This book contains essays written by the members of the Dreiser Committee as well as testimony from strikers and others involved in the strike. Of note are the testimony from Aunt Molly Jackson, sheriff J.H. Blair and writer Bruce Crawford.

Garland, Jim. (1983). Welcome the Traveler Home: Jim Garland's Story of the Kentucky Mountains. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

Garland was a miner, NMU organizer, folk singer and friend of Harry Simms, the NMU labor leader who was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy during the strike. He recollects the strike and also provides excellent accounts of work in coal mines and life in coal camps.

Hevener, John W. (2002). Which Side are You On: The Harlan County Coal Miners, 1931-39. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Hevener's book was originally written in 1978; this newer edition contains some updates. He explains the economic situations from which the strike emerged and details the daily struggles of the miners and their families.

Jones, G.C. (1985). Growing up Hard in Harlan County. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

Jones recollects personal stories about life in Harlan County with some material relating to the strike.

Lyon, George Ella. (2011). Which Side Are You On? : The Story of a Song. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

This illustrated children's book re-imagines the times and conditions under which Florence Reece composed her famous labor protest song during the 1931 coal strike.

Portelli, Alessandro. (2011). They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Uses the oral histories of over 150 people to compose a history of Harlan County. Covers a broad range of topics such as industrialization, immigration, labor conflict, technological change, migration, strip mining, environmental and social crises, and resistance.

Romalis, Shelly. (1999). Pistol Packin' Mama: Aunt Molly Jackson and the Politics of Folksong. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Biography of Aunt Molly Jackson. Contains mostly details of Molly's life in New York and California, but gives a full description of her life in eastern Kentucky as a midwife and songwriter. Also explains her forced exodus from Kentucky and her subsequent fundraising efforts for the National Miners Union in New York City.

Taylor, Paul F. (1989). Bloody Harlan: The United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky, 1931-1941.Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Dissertation on the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County.

Titler, George J. (1972). Hell in Harlan. Beckley, WV: BJW Printers

Contains information about the various coal strikes in Harlan County and about the economic impact of coal in the region. Useful for information about scrip payment and company towns as well as coal production figures in the 20th century.

U.S. Senate. Committee on Manufactures. (1932).Conditions in Coal Fields in Harlan and Bell Counties, Kentucky. Washington: Government Printing Office.

Link to a digitized copy of the government document. This is a large document (286 pages).