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The Shadow of the Mine by Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson
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The Shadow of the Mine

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The Shadow of the Mine by Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson
Paperback $24.95
Mar 19, 2024 | ISBN 9781839767982

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  • $24.95

    Mar 19, 2024 | ISBN 9781839767982

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“This brilliant analysis of the decline of British coal mining, and its social and political effects, is required reading for those who would speak for this working class.”
—David Egerton, Times Literary Supplement

The Shadow of the Mine reminds us why this spirit [of solidarity and collectivism] has lived on in the coalfields, in spite of people feeling a sense of political betrayal going back decades … enlightening.”
—Conrad Landin, Guardian

“Refreshing and necessary … [The Shadow of the Mine] explains in loving, careful detail why working people’s relationship with Labour in former industrial communities … had become complex and ultimately soured.”
—Laura Pidcock, Red Pepper

“Beynon and Hudson … write with authority and respect of the former mining communities of Britain.”
—John Lloyd, Financial Times

“A hymn to working-class community and to men and women’s souls.”
—Will Hutton, author of The State We’re In

“Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson are premier coalfield social scientists, and their new book is essential reading for anyone who wants to dig deeper beyond vague generalisations about the “Red Wall”.”
—Charlotte Austin, Tribune

“It’s the precise, empathetic detailing of life after coal that makes this book so telling – the low-paid jobs, the boring shifts, the ritual humiliations doled out to ex-miners who were once considered to be doing work of physical heroism and national importance. In that shift lies a deep truth about the death of a kind of labourism and it is skilfully told here.”
—Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian Senior Economics Commentator

“A brave book … anyone interested in the transformation that has reshaped Britain’s former coalfields should read The Shadow of the Mine.”
—Ewan Gibbs, Jacobin

“Drawing on decades of research … [The Shadow of the Mine] is a moving account of 150 years of coalfield history … By tracing the “deep story” of the marginalisation of Britain’s coalfields, it aims to understand the continuing exclusion of working-class people in deindustrialised areas from political and social life.”
—Diarmaid Kelliher, Antipode

“A highly visceral approach to the business of cutting coal . . . excellent”
—Robert Colls, New Statesman

“After defeat by Thatcher, the pits were levelled and the Miners’ Welfare Halls, their social and intellectual centres, vanished. With carefully controlled passion, this book indicts such ruthless disregard for the values of care and association.”
—Sheila Rowbotham, author of Daring to Hope

“Considered, comprehensive and insightful … a book that deserves the widest distribution”
—Steven Andrew, Morning Star

“The work of two outstanding ‘organic intellectuals’ of the very communities they are giving voice to … Anyone who wants to go beyond the ‘Red Wall’ platitudes of British politics ought to start with The Shadow of the Mine.”

“A major contribution . . . required reading for historians of twentieth-century history.”
—Keith Gildart, author of North Wales Miners

“A powerful study of tumultuous political events steeped in knowledge of the coalfields. Essential reading for all those who care about the future – and hence the past – of working-class politics.”
—Hilary Wainwright, author of A New Politics from the Left

The Shadow of the Mine is a story of communities being betrayed, not simply by having their livelihoods taken away, but their whole reason for being nullified”
—Martin Shipton, Western Mail

“Superb and timely … full of lessons and insights for today”
—Steve Davies, New Socialist

“A concern for the dignity of those who made (and continue to make) their lives in the coalfields runs through the book like an unbroken seam.”
—Gavin Bridge, AAG Review of Books

“Starmer and his allies in Renaissance would do better to pick up a copy of The Shadow of the Mine … As Beynon and Hudson make clear, the succession of defeats inflicted on the trade unions over the last four decades has brought about the gradual fragmentation of old loyalties.”
—Tom Blackburn, Tribune

“A solid account of the history of the coalfields in Durham and South Wales and the impact of deindustrialisation and closure upon them.”
—Mike Phipps, Labour Hub

“Elegiac … [The Shadow of the Mine] provides essential economic and social context for both the Leave vote in 2016 and the consequent collapse of the so-called ‘Red Wall’.”
—Rhian E. Jones, Tribune

Table Of Contents

List of Maps
List of Tables and Figures


1. Two Coalfields, Two Labour Traditions
2. State Ownership
3. Power Politics
4. From Heath to Thatcher
5. Conflagration: The State Against the Miners
6. Of Managers and Markets
7. Thatcher’s Redundant Entrepreneurs
8. Sticking Together and Falling Apart
9. Regeneration?
10. ‘Just Jobs’
11. The Fabric of Decline
12. Tragic Outcomes
13. Monsters and Ghosts
14. Building from the Past
15. The People Speak Out

Conclusions and Reflections

Note on Sources

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