Work, Enterprise, and Ethnic Communities in the Mine Fields 

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Considered by scholars and history buffs alike to be the best survey history of the rise and fall of the anthracite mining industry in Pennsylvania, this volume chronicles the discovery of anthracite, the building of canals to transport it to market, the era when anthracite was a major stimulus for the building of railroads and the development of the iron industry, the struggles of miners to organize, and the effects that successive waves of immigrants had on northeastern Pennsylvania. It concludes with an examination of the continuing legacy of anthracite mining in the region, and of the economic and technological factors that brought about the decline of the Kingdom of Coal. The chapters on the people of the anthracite region are particularly absorbing.

The Kingdom of Coal was nominated for several prizes, including the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Bancroft Prize.


“Meticulously researched….The first comprehensive history of the industry and the culture that it spawned.  A worthy effort.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A superb study of anthracite history; [it] deserves to be widely read.”
Anthony Wallace