[Denise Giardina] ☆ Storming Heaven [m-m-f PDF] Ebook Epub Download ↠´ Annadel, West Virginia, Was A Small Town Rich In Coal, Farms, And Close Knit Families, All Destroyed When The Coal Company Came In It Stole Everything It Hadn T Bothered To Buy Land Deeds, Private Homes, And Ultimately, The Souls Of Its Men And WomenIn , An Army Of , Unemployed Pro Union Coal Miners Took Up Arms And Threatened To Overthrow The Governments Of Two West Virginia Counties They Were Greeted By US Army Airplanes, Bombs, And Poison Gas This Book Recounts The Real Story Of What Happened And Where It All Went WrongFour People Tell This Powerful, Deeply Moving Tale Activist Mayor C J Marcum Fierce, Loveless Union Man Rondal Lloyd Gutsy Nurse Carrie Bishop, Who Loved Rondal And Lonely, Sicilian Immigrant Rosa Angelelli, Who Lost Four Sons To The Deadly Mines They All Bear Witness To Nearly Forgotten Events Of History, Culminating In The Final, Tragic Battle Of Blair Mountain The First Crucial Battle Of A War That Has Yet To Be Won Just finished reading this for the second time and teaching it to my freshman comp class It is the common book this year at the college where I teach I loved it when I read it 10 years ago for an Appalachian literature class, and loved it probably this time The story is told from four different points of view, all of which mesh into a lovely tapestry The book s themes are just as important as ever the bloody history of the coming of the coal industry into Appalachia is still as hushed up as it ever was Those events are eerily similar to the current controversy over mountaintop removal mining, which devastates people s land and heritage much like the Broad Form Deed did in the early 1900s This book sheds a painfully bright light on the events that led to the degradation of the Appalachian people and mountains that still continues today.
Plus, it s an engrossing read my 17 and 18 year old freshmen loved it I expected to hate this book But it shook me up It was good.
I want to be Carrie BishopPage 119 How come you aint married he asked I just aint found the right man, I answered, shamed to tell him that I feared no one would want me, that in my three years of school no one had come courting You look to me like you re too independent, he said You wouldnt take to a man bossing you around The way he said it did not sound like a reproach.
Page 161 Why d you leave that feller tonight He didn t need me there I tried to tell him how much I love him But he wont hear it He cant let himself be loved You re just like him, Albion said He pulled my hand down, held the lantern closer You want to love your own way You re scairt of something else Page 297 She never did beg me not to go It was then I knew what I had in her She d throw out no snares to trip me and slow me, to keep me from giving everything up to what was coming It takes a hell of a woman to be like that.
This is a fictitious account of the 1921 WV coal strike and the Battle of Blair Mountain The coal operators had a system of extreme exploitation They basically went in and stole all of the land from the citizens in the first place, claiming mineral rights and forcing them to sign their land over The displaced landowners had few choices but to work in the mines The coal companies provided substandard company housing They cheated miners and forced them to make purchases in the company owned stores Miners actually went into debt working for the coal companies and could not break away from them The companies hired gun thugs to patrol the areas They censored miners mail and even limited the number of visitors they could have in their homes When union organizers came onto the scene, the coal operators degenerated to outright tyranny, brutalizing women and children, evicting them at gunpoint, blackballing miners and even committing murder In 1921, over 10,000 striking miners, or rednecks as they were called because they wore red bandanas over their necks to signify union membership, threatened to overthrow the county government The US Army intervened, even using gas and bombs on the miners I am not crazy about the historical fiction genre, but this novel is very well researched and seems to chronicle events pretty accurately from my extra reading Sadly, union membership plummeted for many years after this rebellion and the exploitation of miners continued They truly were pilgrims of sorrow Note, I loved Emily s Ghost, by this author, as I am a Bronte freak.
A fascinating, fictional, account of the Battle of Blair Mountain It led me down many rabbit holes researching the background Excellent novel about an infamous time in US history My only real criticism is the inclusion of chapters from Rosa s POV They are unnecessary to the story and even weigh it down as they feel so out of place It s disappointing, really, as the voice of an immigrant would be welcome.
This is a powerful book by an author who knows in her bones about the suffering and conflicts that have been such a deep part of the history of West Virginia But it is much than a regional story especially now, as struggles over carbon, fossil fuels, and extremes of wealth and poverty play out on a global scale with the stakes increasingly high I started thinking about coal after hearing miners testifying on behalf of polluting power plants at an EPA hearing late last year My own great grandfather was a coal miner in Western Pennsylvania, recruited from Eastern Europe a hundred years ago, and I began to wonder whether those of us living in cities and pressing for action on climate change really have in common with miners than we might think This book and the latest spate of stories about coal ash spills and polluted creeks are vivid reminders that most of us are really on the same side.
The first novel I have read in 4 1 2 years Was a good run.
My grandmother told me that the coal company stole our family s land, but she wasn t sure how it was done I found out how in the first few pages of Storming Heaven This book speaks to me through my DNA My family lived through this shameful time in American History Like the characters in Ms Giardina s Storming Heaven, my folks became slaves to the company living in company houses, working in hellish conditions, always owing the company store, unable to feed the children a healthy diet, and living in the filth of the coal fields Before the companies invaded, the mountain people were poor but free This book tells the story of the loss of rights and dignity of the mountain people and immigrants who became in essence less than slaves to the coal company I say less than slaves because slaves of the old South were expensive and valuable The mountain people and immigrants were easily replaced by others willing to go into the black holes They were all expendable and Ms Giardina draws us into their hopelessness with her dynamic characters This conveniently forgotten part of American history should be included in every high school and college American History course Storming Heaven should be required reading in those classes We owe it to those who lived through these horrors and gave their lives to give us the workers rights we have today Without exception Storming Heaven is my favorite book.
The Giardina novel I reviewed earlier, The Unquiet Earth, is actually a sequel to this one, which covers the years 1890 1922 Both books share the same problem of over use of bad language which cost this one a fifth star but this book does not have several of the other objectionable elements of the second one, and the eye opening indictment of social injustice here is even powerful.
This is a fictionalized treatment of the hellish conditions in Appalachia s coal country, during the years when the big coal companies were literally stealing the land and establishing a system of de facto slavery in the mines, enforced by murder and the threat of murder, with the active complicity of a corrupt government But it is not very fictionalized many of the atrocities and no, that isn t too strong a term that Giardina depicts actually happened, although some of the names of people and places are changed here, and some license is taken with details The real names are used in the movie Matewan, depicting the 1920 murder of Matewan, West Virginia s mayor by coal company gun thugs in broad daylight on a public street, and the first acts of armed resistance by the citizenry and though this site is devoted to books, not movies, I d heartily recommend that movie as well And this is not simply dead history irrelevant to the present as the sequel shows, the peonage and violence area residents have endured at the hands of the coal companies continues into the present And we can see the same mentality of oppression and exploitation of the many for the enrichment of a few in so much of the warp and woof of economic life in our world today, with its globalization of sweatshops, expanding poverty and corporate greed.
To her credit, Giardina doesn t let her message overwhelm her story, or reduce her characters to cardboard caricatures this is a novel of flesh and blood people, not a dreary ideological exercise in socialist realism And of course many of her oppressed characters fighting back against the system are not reds, as their opponents depict them, nor in many cases particularly ideological at all Of all of her four viewpoint characters, only the Italian immigrant Rosa fails to come alive for the reader at least, this reader her few sections of the book are much shorter than those of the others, and are much exercises in rather jumbled stream of consciousness perceptions ultimately distorted by madness than coherent narratives But the other sections don t have that problem I also appreciate her basically sympathetic treatment of Christianity the rebel preacher Albion Freeman is a particularly appealing character, though I disagree with some aspects of his theology his pacifism, and his theory of ultimate universal salvation views which probably reflect Episcopal lay preacher Giardina s own All in all, this is one of the best modern historicals I ve read.
I read a review once in which the reviewer talked about the fact that her bookseller knows what she likes to read novels about labor issues She had read this book, Storming Heaven, years ago and loved it so much that she had continued to search out novels on the same subject So that prompted me to get it and read it Well It was OK, but it had, in my eyes, a number of problems It is set in the coal mines of West Virginia in the early 1900 s and a major part of the plot is the effort to unionize the mines The author didn t incorporate enough background information into the story to make me feel as though I really knew what was going on in the main battle between mine owners and strikers The characters were also not very well developed and the way narrator changed constantly a different character for each chapter didn t help me feel connected to any one of them I am very interested in the early history of unions in this country I would have been far happier if I had just read a non fiction book on the subject.