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Return to Book Page. Preview — Blood Passion by Scott Martelle. But Ammons misread the signals, and on April 20, , a full-scale battle erupted between the remaining militiamen and armed strikers living in a tent colony at the small railroad town of Ludlow. Eight men were killed in the fighting, which culminated in the burning of the colony.
The next day, the bodies of two women and eleven children were found suffocated in a below-ground shelter. Rockefeller, Jr. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.
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Sort order. I wrote it, so what the hell. Nov 17, Dave rated it really liked it Shelves: history. Scott finds little corners of American History that, while very important, are seldom taught in history class. This is a very interesting read. Highly recommended to anyone who thinks the free enterprise system should be left to its own devises with little or no government oversight. Jun 02, Larry Brunt rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction-history.
First 80 pages more than a third of the book were background, expository and not great reading; once the strike began, the writing became more descriptive and interesting. Very well documented with endnotes. Details the strike and massacre and other associated battles. Does not attempt an examination of the ramifications though it recommends a book that does.
Mar 05, Wade rated it really liked it. Written in the easy to understand newspaper typoe prose. The book grabs on and doesnt let go. Truly well written and, I believe, accurate account of a relatively little known chapter in U. I had been aware of the Ludlow Massacre for years but wanted to know more detail, This book provided that. The utter horror of the events and the killing of both men, women and children especially by the mine owners' agents and more particularly the state national guard is chilling.
The guard is called up by Governor Ammons and given little if any rules of engagement. Led by officers wi Truly well written and, I believe, accurate account of a relatively little known chapter in U. Led by officers with no experience in domestic affairs and rather full of themselves and their authority they became a "law" unto themselves. Rockefeller distanced themselves from dealing with the conflict, delegated responsibility and absolved themselves of that responsibility.
This book tells of the events between August 10, the killing of union organizer Gerald Lippiatt and the end of April, when Federal troops arrived in the Colorado Coalfield War.
It is, essentially, the story of a civil war. Not a war between two factions struggling for political rule, but between capital and This book tells of the events between August 10, the killing of union organizer Gerald Lippiatt and the end of April, when Federal troops arrived in the Colorado Coalfield War. Not a war between two factions struggling for political rule, but between capital and labor.
Conditions in the mines were extreme. Workers were expected to put in 12 hour days, 7 days a week. They were cheated in myriad ways: sometimes paid by the ton of coal, a ton being lbs according to the company.
The work was hazardous, with explosions and cave-ins common, and work done to improve safety generally unpaid. Elections for local sheriffs were rigged by the companies to install cruel and violent men who would further the company agenda. Generally, attempts to organize the miners were thwarted by mine management and the bought sheriffs by beating or deporting union organizers.
I'm sure the author had a difficult time sifting through the historical record in search of fairness and the true facts. Contemporary reports can be generally regarded as fiction, and the inquests in the immediate aftermath were one-sided in the favor of the mine companies to say the least.
Some of the events are shocking. People were imprisoned without charges, held for weeks or months incommunicado, sometimes tortured. Strike breakers were lured with promises they'd be farming cheap land, then sent to the mines and not allowed to leave. And, of course, a tent city of inhabitants was machine gunned and burned.
My only real criticism is the lack of maps. There's a single map at the front of the book on a scale that gives no aid in following the action.
Although this isn't what I'd call a combat book, there is enough combat in it to warrant additional maps.
I've driven through some of the areas where the action took place and have a vague idea of the terrain, an advantage over most readers. As the author says in the conclusion, the knock-on effects of the strike and massacre deserve another book. The Colorado Coalfield War was a seminal event in labor relations legislation over the next two decades at least. This is a sadly little known chapter in American history. The story of the miners who fought and died, whose wives and children were killed, should be generally known.
In America today we tend to worship wealth and don't know or dismiss what is often done to accumulate it. Jun 15, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: history-american-west. Waco and Kent State are nothing compared to this incident or should I say incidents.
Although entitled the Ludlow Massacre it's the story of a prolonged campaign of violence in the Colorado mine fields circa The Ludlow Massacre is singled out because women and children were killed by the Colorado National Guard-more specifically by smoke inhalation for most of the dead. Just when you think the incident is going to blow over all hell breaks lose. And why is it that Colorado is the site Waco and Kent State are nothing compared to this incident or should I say incidents.
And why is it that Colorado is the site of so much violence? There was the Sand Creek Massacre of the Indians and in modern times we've had the sensational tragedies in Columbine and Aurora. Lots of blood spilled in Colorado. The unions lost to the Rockefellers but Rockefeller was permanently tarnished. It was interesting to see how the government was reacting or not reacting and to contrast government response in today's world-like Katrina or Sandy.
But these were far different times with guns and violence everywhere-a full blown insurgency by both sides with machine guns and bombs. The governor was ineffective. The President was unconcerned and saw it as a state problem. The Colorado National Guard took sides and became defacto employees of the mine owners.
They took too long to bring in the federal troops and the corporate owners refused to negotiate. What's a real shame is that more Americans don't even know about this war between working class people, some of whom were immigrants Italians, Greeks, and even Japanese and the corporations. Martelle's account is detailed and you are bombarded with lots of info. When you finish and finally get the casualty count you are surprised it's not higher.
Southern Colorado for this short period of time sounded like Missouri or Kansas during the Civil War. Nov 19, Riley rated it liked it. With the continued decline of unions in America, it is easy to forget just how thankful regular folk should toward the labor movement.
It is also easy to ignore just how hard fought those advances were.
Blood Passion: The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West
Post a Comment. He writes, in part:. The photograph shows two straight lines of mourners marching over fresh snow, sn aking back through the rugged company town toward the mountains. The picture was taken almost years ago, but you can still see the cold: The gray sky moves by hugely overhead, and chimneys blow smoke; the men - they are almost all men - wear hats and slump at the shoulders, and the horses' glistening flanks give off steam. The mourners follow a carriage bearing the body of Louis Tikas, a Greek union organizer who helped lead coal miners on a failed month strike against the Colorado Fuel and Iron Co.
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