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Catherine Venable Moore
West Virginia Mine Wars Museum (Matewan, WV 25678-0764)
Disunion: West Virginia Coal Miners and America's Other Civil War

Research and writing of a history of labor activism in a West Virginia coal mining region between 1902 and 1921.

"Disunion" is a work of deeply-researched narrative nonfiction exploring the West Virginia Mine Wars, a twenty-year period of violent conflict when unionizing coal miners fought wealthy industrialists for their constitutional rights and the right to join a union. Culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, this conflict was one of the most dramatic struggles for civil rights that this country has known, but it is also one of the nation’s most obscure. "Disunion" traces the events that led to the Battle of Blair Mountain and briefly discusses how that history echoes forward into the present day. Along the way, it emphasizes the experiences of men and women of color, immigrants, and non-immigrant white women, arguing that these populations frequently fought on the front lines of these struggles, though they’ve so far received scant attention from historians. "Disunion" is currently under contract with Random House.

Project fields:
African American History; Labor History; Women's History

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022