West Virginia University Press is releasing two books by David A. Corbin, a former Senate staffer: a new paperback edition of The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd’s Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents and a second edition of Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922.
In�”The Last Great Senator,” David A. Corbin examines Byrd’s complex and fascinating relationships with 11 presidents of the United States, from Eisenhower to Obama. Furthermore, Byrd had an impact on nearly every significant event of the last half century, including the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Kennedy’s New Frontier, the Watergate scandal, the Reagan Revolution, the impeachment of President Clinton and the Iraq War. Holding several Senate records, Byrd also cast more votes than any other U.S. senator.�
In his sweeping portrait of this eloquent and persuasive man’s epic life and career, Corbin describes Byrd’s humble background in the coalfields of southern West Virginia (including his brief membership in the Ku Klux Klan). He covers Byrd’s encounters and personal relationship with each president and his effect on events during their administrations. Additionally, the book discusses Byrd’s interactions with other notable senators, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Russell, Mike Mansfield, and especially Robert and Edward Kennedy. Going beyond the boundaries of West Virginia and Capitol Hill, “The Last Great Senator”�presents Byrd in a larger historical context, where he rose to the height of power in America.
The second edition of “Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922” contains a new preface and afterword by author David A. Corbin. Between 1880 and 1922, the coal fields of southern West Virginia witnessed two bloody and protracted strikes, the formation of two competing unions, and the largest armed conflict in American labor history — a week-long battle between 20,000 coal miners and 5,000 state police, deputy sheriffs, and mine guards. These events resulted in an untold number of deaths, indictments of over 550 coal miners for insurrection and treason, and four declarations of martial law. Corbin argues that these violent events were collective and militant acts of aggression interconnected and conditioned by decades of oppression. His study goes a long way toward breaking down the old stereotypes of Appalachian and coal mining culture.
David A. Corbin served as a Senate staffer for 26 years — six years on the leadership staff of Senate majority leader Byrd and 10 years on the leadership staffs of Senate majority leaders George Mitchell and Tom Daschle. He also served as Senator Byrd’s speechwriter for the last 10 years of his career.�
Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922, Second Edition
October 2015/328pp/PB 978-1-940425-79-5: $24.99/ePub 978-1-940425-80-1:$24.99
The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd’s Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents
October 2015/384pp/PB 978-1-940425-61-0: $24.99
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