It was a time of poverty and enterprise, when poor men slaved in the mines, rich men became barons and America grew from a backward agricultural colony to the industrial force of the modern world. The driving power behind this transformation was coal, the black gold that even today illuminates our cities and runs our personal computers.In The Kingdom of Coal tells the extraordinary story of coal through the eyes of two families--one the magnates, one the miners--over three generations while locked together, for better or worse, in a common quest.At the reigns of power are the Leisenrings, who built a dynasty around coal and whose fortunes intersected with those of Henry Clay Frick, the Carnegies and the other masters of the American industrial revolution. Miles underground are the sons and daughters of the Givens family, who gave their sweat and sometimes their lives to the Leisenrings' Virginia mines.Rich with the struggles of management and labor from two unforgettable families, In The Kingdom of Coal is an American saga of how coal operators made and lost fortunes, coal towns flourished and died, and miners and mine owners battled the earth, the atmosphere and each other in their quest to satisfy the world's appetite for coal.

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