Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America

Norton. Sept. 2020. 624p. ISBN 9780393652536. $27.95. HIST
On New Year’s Eve, 1969, three men crept into a farmhouse near Clarksville, PA. They had come to kill Jock Yablonski, and anyone else in the house. Jock, his wife, and daughter died as a result of multiple gunshots wounds. Bradley (Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration) weaves a masterful story of Yablonski’s life and times. ­Yablonski, a coal miner, had been trying to wrest control of the United Mine Workers from its brutal and corrupt president, Tony Boyle. Bradley depicts how the murders had been ordered by Boyle—who had been looking into the secretive operations and finances of the United Mine Workers of America—and managed by a string of union officials. The author dissects the story of the three killers and their trials, along with the detective work that eventually put all participants, including Boyle, on trial. All were convicted, save for a father and daughter who pleaded guilty, turned state’s evidence, and disappeared into witness protection. The well-researched book includes extensive endnotes.
VERDICT An absorbing narrative of pride, greed, arrogance, and retribution that will find a place in history and true crime collections.
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Robert Lamb

This is a terrific story. I had the pleasure of reading it before it went to press. To call it absorbing is an understatement. Bradley is an outstanding storyteller. You listening, film-makers?

Posted : Sep 01, 2020 01:03



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