In the western Pennsylvanian coalfields in the years following the First World War, immigrants from central and eastern Europe are allotted to separate quarters to ensure lack of communication. Starvation wages are offered to the miners and their families are obliged to live in the company town, where all expenditure returns to the company. Unions are banned and health and safety a very low priority. In these circumstances, striking is an action of both immense bravery and desperation. In Buckets of Blood, The Ragman’s War, R.S. Sukle has recreated the true story of the 1927-8 strike with which she has a strong family connection. The result is a compelling story of the struggle of workers for decent pay and respect and the chilling armed response of the company – involving agent provocateurs, organised violence and the calculated use of rape as a weapon.
The history of the working classes is an important part of every country’s history and it is one that is too often forgotten. This is especially true of the struggle for working conditions which took so long to achieve and which is constantly under threat from ‘deregulation’ and the spectre of outsourcing. The author locates her story in the tradition of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which remains as one of the central texts in the study of working class life and work. And like Tressell, she makes her story readable and her characters believable.
The central figures are the Ragman himself, a war hero and a man often consumed by rage and frustration, and the two brothers whose character frames him. There is the older Irvin, a gentle giant who refuses to respond to violence and who works like a Stakhanovite. Then there is younger brother Albert, who was a boxing champion in the Marines and whose hunger for life is opposite to Irvin’s stoicism. They and their families are targeted by the vile Coal and Iron Police leader Bucholtz, who has been imported from a German prison to lead the company’s dirty work. While these characters contend with each other, the rest of the community contends with the endless slow war against hunger, cold and ignorance.
This book, like all books, is not perfect. The contrast between the Ragman and Bucholtz is too obviously manufactured and the attempt to explain the policeman’s motives unnecessary. I would have preferred more discussion of union politics and the role of local Communists in supporting the strike. However, this may be contained in the author’s forthcoming memoir of her father, which is said to be forthcoming and which should provide more context for the events described here. Recommended.
Nothing But The Blood
Author: Ruth Gunter MitchellISBN 9-781419-615375 Aunt Inny – everyone has one. You know the type – has the devil in them, or so they say. They spoil holidays, upset family members, and even wreck Christmas trees. The member of the family that makes everyone wonder if they were found on the doorstep and the one you want to throttle when they embarrass you. It makes one wonder how they could be kin. Jenny recounts how she saw things in such a clear fashion that you can almost see the...
Written in Blood
Click Here To Purchase Written In Blood: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery (Forensic Handwriting Mysteries) Author: Sheila LowePublisher: PenguinISBN: 978-0-451-22487-3 Sheila Lowe is herself a handwriting exper
Written In Blood
Click Here To Purchase Written in Blood Author: Sheila LowePublisher: ObsidianISBN: 978-0-451-22487-3 As forensic science becomes more and more prevalent in the apprehension of criminals, the varied and numerous phases of the practice is dra
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon Blood HarvestAuthor: Brant Randall Publishers: Capital Crime PressISBN: 13:978-0-9799960-1-6: 10: 0-9799960-1-5 Deputy Marshall Ichabod Lawe, the principal narrator in Brant Randall’s debut novel Blood Harvest may have been a gossip, however, he undoubtedly had quite a yarn to narrate. As Lawe informs us, the MacKay family, who lived in Peony Springs, a little rural town in New England, were not exactly pleased when in 1916 their fifteen-year old daughter...
The Blood of Flowers
Author: Anita AmirrezvaniPublisher: Little, Brown and CompanyISBN: 0-316-06576-5In the blink of an eye, everything can change. One tragic event can send lives spiralling down a staircase full of unknowns. In her debut novel, Anita Amirrezvani explores this theory through the eyes of a young Iranian woman living in the 17th century. At the age of 14, the unnamed narrator is looking forward to a new chapter in her life. She is expecting to be married before the year is out and her only troubles...
Of Blood and Blackwater
Author: T.C. HeffernanISBN: 1-4259-3445-5 Ethnobotanist Gareth McKenna is troubled by terrifying nightmares. His terror mounts when he realizes that his nightmares are connected to the vicious murders of several young women in his hometown. Portland police detective Armando (Army) Padilla and FBI profiler Caroline Baxter’s investigation is stymied until a vital piece of evidence points toward Gareth as their prime suspect. Gareth’s journey to stay out of their reach and identify the killer...
Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar Author: Dennis PollockISBN: 0-7396-1721-7Dennis Pollock, author, evangelist, and the founder of Spirit of Grace Ministries, offers practical help for hypoglycemic, diabetics, people fighting fatigue and mood swings, the weight-conscious, and the general health-conscious reader in his recent book ‘Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar’ (Harvest House Publishers, Oregon, 2006). Two qualities of Pollock’s publication distinguish its...
Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar
Author: Dennis Pollock Publisher: ISBN: 0-7369-1721-7 The following review was contributed by: S.V. SWAMY: CLICK TO VIEW S.V. Swamy's ReviewsOvercoming Runaway Blood Sugar is a good self-help book written by a layman forlaymen. The author is a Christian Preacher and found the right keys to open thesecrets of good health when he was struggling with wildly swinging blood sugarlevels. Diet, exercise and weight management - these are the three keys foreffective management of blood sugar levels...
F.I.A.S.C.O.—Blood In The Water On Wall Street
Author: Frank PartnoyPublisher: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.ISBN 0-393-04622-2 The following review was contributed by: SHELDON (SHELLY) WAXMAN & click to view Shelly's reviews.The title is a play on words or in this case, a play on letters. F.I.A.S.C.O. really are initials that represent: “Fixed Income Annual Sporting Clays Outing.” It is a poor theme on which to base the book. It’s an affair held by Morgan Stanley Investment Company (“MS”). The title is a little too cute. It would...