Top positive review
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The Truth at Last
on 11 May 2014
In the 30 years that have passed since the Miners Strike of 1984 there have been many books, articles and programmes about the events of that time. Many (if not quite all) of these have been full of myth, conjecture and often downright lies. This book attempts, successfully, to redress the balance.
Concentrating particularly on the Nottinghamshire coalfield where many miners ignored and resisted the call to join their workmates in Nottinghamshire, and the rest of the country, in the fight for their livelihoods. Patterson takes the myths and lines them up, like ducks on a fairground shooting range, and despatches them one by one like a true marksman.
This book is thoroughly researched and brings to the table much new information which is especially jaw-dropping in regard to Thatcher’s use of the “Met” and other ‘security’ services, in what was at times almost a civil war between the working and ruling classes. The other thing that makes this book stand out is the wealth of fresh ‘one on one’ interview material, from both working and striking miners, gathered by the author. Patterson allows many of the ‘working miners’ to hang themselves by their own words but at the same time puts an all too human face on the events of the time. One particular chapter dealing with the Women’s Support Group (and in particular Iris Wake and her experiences) is a real eye-opener.
Patterson’s prose is clean, concise and reads with a pace which captures the attention and helps the reader to grasp the (at times) difficult technical concepts in regard to legal process within the Union rule book and political doctrine
Often taking a tone of (fully justified in my opinion) righteous indignation at the actions of government, police, local press and politicians, as well as the working miners it is obvious where the author stands on the issues surrounding the dispute and it’s aftermath. I found myself standing alongside him after reading his words.
. This book puts a very human face on the dispute and tensions in Nottinghamshire and makes fascinating and often enthralling reading.
Highly recommended for anyone who believes in the truth.