By Marc Reisner
Newly up-to-date, this well timed background of the fight to find and keep watch over water within the American West is a story of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and financial and ecological catastrophe. Winner of the nationwide booklet Critics Circle Award.
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Additional resources for Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (Revised Edition)
They had worked in other men’s places and they had stolen from them. In the same sense that a miner might undercut a seam of coal, they had undercut the peaceful nature of the strike. The weight of those judgments was about to come crashing down upon them. * * * Just after noon, some of the women of Sterling responded to McHugh. They decided to collect the final pay still owed their husbands, and by that act 26 << Cultural “The Miner” —Lewis W. Hine to sever their family relationships to the company.
4 The result was a running battle and gunplay. When word of the riot arrived in the county seat, leaders of the coal miners denied all involvement. The coal miners had peacefully ceased work five weeks earlier as was their right. ” In a few years, the term “Molly Maguires” would take on a specific meaning as a sort of secret Irish terrorist organization. In this earlier case, however, its meaning retained its original ambiguity. It referred not so much to a secret group, but to a tactic, or perhaps to violence itself.
Competition with each other and with the two other Eastern Pennsylvania anthracite coalfields drove prices below the cost of production. It was an endemic problem in coal mining: new coal mines Formal >> 39 were easy to open during boom times but tough to close when booms ended. Long-term lease agreements required minimum levels of production per year. As a result, the anthracite mining industry faced overproduction and overcompetition. Schuylkill coal operators faced demands from both their employees and the Reading Railroad that lower prices not come out of their slices of the pie.