"Pioneers may have been lured west by gold, but they stayed because of coal," says Sandra Dallas in her Denver Post review of Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War. A good point to be sure, developed with precision and grace by Andrews, whose geo-historical (is that a word yet?) approach has elicited much comment.
Killing for Coal is part and parcel of a slew of Western history books we have done or are doing (see also Jared Farmer's On Zion's Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape and Katherine Benton-Cohen's forthcoming Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands), in what's becoming an increasingly strong field for us. A westerner through and through, it seems, Andrews admits in this talk to the Colorado Yale Association that he never felt quite at home here on the east coast -- seems that the siren song of the Rockies was destined to call out for a native son's return.