In 1990 the University of Pittsburgh Press, published Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War of 1920-21 by Lon Kelly Savage (1928-2004), an administrator at Virginia Tech. It was considered the definitive treatment of this struggle. Savage continued his research but died before he could finish another book. His wife, Ginny Moomaw Savage, kept track of his work and made it available to Savage’s daughter, Ginny Savage Ayers, who delved even deeper with the help of many people including her cousin’s husband, Gordon Simmons, a West Virginia labor organizer and bookseller. The focus of this book is a little-known struggle that occurred in1912 and 1913, eight years earlier than the strike covered in Thunder in the Mountains. And this new book highlights the contribution of the great labor organizer Mother Jones (1837-1930). “[The late] Lon Savage and Ginny Savage Ayers have written an account of one of the seminal confrontations in the history of the American labor movement that is both exhaustively researched and a real page-turner. Especially compelling is their insight into Mother Jones, that human detonator in constant search of dynamite.” - John Sayles. Ginny Savage Ayers is a scientist and a teacher who lives in Maryville, Tennessee.
Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2018. 343 pages with an Index, Notes, and an Introduction by Lou Martin. Trade paperback.