Capitalism, Community and Conflict

The South Wales Coalfield, 1898-1947

Chris Williams

Capitalism, Community and Conflict
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Chris Williams

Distributed for University of Wales Press

141 pages | 8-2/5 x 5-2/5
Paper $16.95 ISBN: 9780708314739 Published November 1998 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The development of the coal industry in south Wales gave birth to a new society. Characterized by rapid population growth, urbanization of the mining valleys, friction between capitalists and workers and the development of a distinctive popular culture, this society reached its zenith in the early decades of the twentieth century. The 1920s and 1930s brought soaring unemployment, economic hardship and a determination to challenge fascism at home and abroad, while the 1940s afforded opportunities for collectivist planning which led to the public ownership of the coal industry in 1947. Chris Williams's penetrating and accessible study reassesses the turbulent, dramatic and celebrated history of the south Wales coalfield from the foundation of the South Wales Miners' Federation in 1898 to the nationalization of the coal industry in 1947. The book combines original research with an intimate knowledge of recent historical scholarship, weaving new approaches in economic, political and gender history together in a fresh appraisal of the miners and their society. The text is complemented by a selection of documents which gives voice to leaders and led, men and women, writers and commentators from many different backgrounds and perspectives.
The Economic History Review
“ . . . a valuable addition to the Past in Perspective Series.” –The Economic History Review
Labour History Review

“ . . .an innovative and imaginative series . . . This is arguably the first rounded, indeed holistic volume, which strives and achieves, a comprehensive account of the most dynamic part of Wales – the South Wales valleys – in its most vital historical period.” –Labour History Review


“The trick in this kind of writing is to serve the students well and still manage to say something which is fresh to their teachers who will be familiar with the literature. This is what Chris Williams brings off triumphantly. The bibliography is comprehensive (without being exhaustive or exhausting) and enlivened with helpful and illuminating comments on the work surveyed . . . The documents are a real asset and far from the afterthought that they sometimes are in volumes of this kind . . . They are beautifully chosen to complement the text.” –Planet

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