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Ludlow Massacre Revisited

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The latest New Yorker features a review of a new book by Thomas G. Andrews, “Killing for Coal,” detailing the deadliest labor struggle in American history. In 1914, for instance, members of the Colorado National Guard fired machine guns and set fires to tents in a Ludlow camp in southern Colorado, where striking miners lived with their families. Following the deaths of several miners and their families–many from suffocation in a cellar under a burning tent–the miners fought back. In all, more than 75 people were killed. The innovation of Andrews’ book is to go beyond the usual portrayal of the history through the lens of labor to ask whether “energy systems” better explain events than ideology, the magazine writes. “People discover, to their dismay, that the desire to exploit an energy resource as cheaply as possible can lead to something like war.” Brush up on your history: The Rocky Mountain News, in its 150th anniversary celebration, also recently revisited the April 21, 1914 slaughter in Ludlow.

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