In 1877, twenty Irish coal miners hanged for a terrorist conspiracy that never occurred. Anywhere But Schuylkill is the story of one who escaped, Mike Doyle, a teenager trying to keep his family alive during the worst depression the nation has ever faced. Banks and railroads are going under. Children are dying of hunger. The Reading Railroad has slashed wages and hired Pinkerton spies to infiltrate the miners’ union. And there is a sectarian war between rival gangs. But none of this compares with the threat at home.
“In the tradition of Upton Sinclair and Jack London, Michael Dunn gives us a gritty portrait of working-class life and activism during one of the most violent eras in U.S. labor history. Anywhere but Schuylkill is a social novel built out of passion and the textures of historical research. It is both a tale of 1870s labor unrest and a tale for the inequalities and injustices of the twenty-first century.”-Russ Castronovo, author of Beautiful Democracy and Propaganda 1776.
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Michael Dunn also likes to write about labor history and culture. You can read some of his writing on these topics on his blog. And you can learn more about the life of anthracite miners in the 1870s by visiting Mike’s World.