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Distributed for University of Scranton Press


An Anthology of Coal Region Drama

Anthracite! brings together six unjustly neglected plays that grippingly portray the world of Appalachian coal mining. Deftly revealing the injustice and suffering of mining life early in the twentieth century, the plays in this collection are an important addition to the history of American theatre, giving voice to the mostly immigrant miners who fashioned lives and families amidst the suffering, poverty, and injustice that surrounded them. 

The anthology includes Jason Miller’s Nobody Hears a Broken Drum, a hard-eyed but loving tribute to Pennsylvania’s miners that is considered by many Miller fans to be a stronger work than his Pulitzer Prize–winning That Championship Season. Also featured is Jack McDonough and Robert Schlesinger’s The Fire Down Below, which centers on the contentious 1902 Anthracite Strike and the ensuing federal trial in which Clarence Darrow presented closing arguments on the side of the miners. 

Anthracite! makes these six compelling plays available once again for those interested in American drama, the immigrant experience, and the history of labor.

150 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2006

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

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"These plays pack a cumulative wallop."

David Willinger, The City College, The City University of New York

Table of Contents

General Introduction
Introduction to the Plays
Nobody Hears a Broken Drum by Jason Miller, 1970
Coaltown Breaker by Michael Cotter, 1975
Spirit of the Molly Maguires:  A Carbon County Legend by Genia Miller, 1993
Patchworks:  Life and Legends of the Coal Towns by Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, 1997
The Fire Down Below by Jack McDonough and Bob Shlesinger, 2002
Molly Daughter by Deborah Lou Randall, 2003
Suggestions for Further Reading

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