Scottish Coal Miners in the Twentieth Century

Jim Phillips

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Brings to light the vital role coal miners played in the social and political history of 20th century Scotland

Throughout the 20th century Scottish miners resisted deindustrialisation through collective action and by leading the campaign for Home Rule. This book shows that coal miners occupy a central position in Scotland’s economic, social and political history. It highlights the role of miners in formulating labour movement demands for political-constitutional reforms that helped create the conditions for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The author also uses the experiences of the miners to explore working class wellbeing more broadly throughout the prolonged and politicised period of deindustrialisation that culminated in the Thatcherite assault of the 1980s.

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AcknowledgementsList of TablesAbbreviations

Introduction: Scottish Coal Miners and Economic Security

Part One. Legislation: Ownership and WelfareChapter 1 Changing Ownership and EmploymentChapter 2 Changing Communities and CollieriesChapter 3 Improving Safety

Part Two. Education: Political Learning and ActivityChapter 4 Generational learning: from the 1920s to the 1950sChapter 5 Miners and the Scottish Nation: from the 1950s to the 1970s

Part Three. Organisation: For Jobs, Wages and CommunitiesChapter 6 Resisting Closures and Winning Wages in the 1960s and 1970sChapter 7 Campaigning For Jobs and Communities in the 1980s

Legacy and ConclusionBibliography

This is an impeccably researched and conceptually ambitious study.
Alan Campbell, University of Liverpool, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations
Phillips presents an informative, interesting, and thought-provoking account of the Scottish coal miners who articulated their pursuit of economic security based on class struggle and the assertion of greater political autonomy for Scotland.
Joe Redmayne, Newcastle University, Labour History Review
The book is a fitting tribute to the thousands of Scottish miners who toiled underground across the twentieth century and played an essential role in buildinga new society and defending it in the 1980s and 1990s. As an academic text it is a major piece of scholarship that will stand the test of time. However, just as importantly, its empathetic reconstruction of working class culture and politics will ensure that it will be just as warmly received by the general reader with an interest in the history of Scotland.
Keith Gildart, University of Wolverhampton, Scottish Labour History
The book is a fitting tribute to the thousands of Scottish miners who toiled underground across the twentieth century and played an essential role in buildinga new society and defending it in the 1980s and 1990s. As an academic text it is a major piece of scholarship that will stand the test of time. However, just as importantly, its empathetic reconstruction of working class culture and politics will ensure that it will be just as warmly received by the general reader with an interest in the history of Scotland.
Keith Gildart, University of Wolverhampton, Scottish Labour History
Phillips has written a wonderfully rich and deeply rewarding book, ingeniously crafted, immaculately researched, and cogently argued. It sets new standards in the historiography on British miners in the twentieth century.
Jörg Arnold, University of Nottingham, The Economic History Review
Jim Phillips is Professor in Economic & Social History at the University of Glasgow, and author of Scottish Coal Miners in the Twentieth Century (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) and with Valerie Wright and Jim Tomlinson Deindustrialisation and the Moral Economy since 1955 (Edinburgh University Press, 2021).

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