In our first episode of the second season of The Road to Now, Bob and Ben speak with Dr. Chuck Keeney about the history of coal in the United States. Chuck explains the ways that the coal industry has shaped not only the physical landscape of mining towns, but also, through lobbying efforts and information campaigns, the way we understand our nation’s history. Chuck is uniquely qualified to tell the story of coal; not only does he hold a PhD in history from West Virginia University, he is the great-grandson of coal miner and labor organizer Frank Keeney, who was part of The Battle of Blair Mountain.
(The Battle of Blair Mountain was a 1921 shootout between coal miners and the coal companies that was the largest domestic insurrection since the Civil War. If you want to know more, it’s all in this episode.)
Chuck Keeney was featured in the 2017 NatGeo Documentary From the Ashes, which was directed by Michael Bonfiglio. We highly recommend you take the time to watch this outstanding documentary!
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