Harry Paterson's book "Look Back In Anger" is a valuable addition to the body of work on the miners' strike of 1984-85. It looks at the situation in Nottinghamshire, where only a minority of miners came out on strike. The author has unearthed some new material, and offers a deep and well-thought out insight into the history of the area. Every incident in the year-long struggle is given a political and historical analysis that puts all the events into a context. The book is well researched and well written in a very readable style. In my opinion, it is the best book on the strike since Seamus Milne's "The Enemy Within."
Superb read, Harry's style of writing is fantastic and makes it very hard to put this book down. What he does however is get the facts home about the physical and phycological harm together with gross injustices inflicted on normal run of the mill men who chose to try and protect their jobs in Nottinghamshire in 1984. This is not a one sided book about the strike though as Harry has also talked and recorded the views of some of those who chose to throw away their skilled career and work only to find a short time down the line that the industry was doomed due to successive prime minister's hatred of trade unions
I don't do politics but I remember the coal miners strike really well. I even went on one of their demonstrations, because it was such a big thing at the time and we all hated what Thatcher was doing to them and the country. Anyway, so I thought I'd have a gander at this. What a surprise. It made me laugh, it made me cry it made me angry. WTF happened to this country it lets things like this happen? Amazing book, not just for politics and miners but for EVERYONE. Don't know the author but hope he does more. Soon.
As an ex miner I really enjoyed this book ~ I had two Nottingham striking miners stay with my family here in Kent, during the year's strike but I had no idea that they were persecuted so much. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the mining industry and especially anyone (like me) that was involved in the strike.
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.
Tremendously well-researched account of the struggle with background to the strike in its most controversial area. Reveals that the miners voted not to have a national ballot which I didn't realise until reading the book.
For anyone interested in the struggle during this strike or for those who criticised Arthur Scargill this book shows that the miners had to come out when they did to try and protect their livelihoods.
Even if you had a good knowledge of the strike beforehand this book will enhance your knowledge and leave you coming away feeling inspired in whatever political struggle you're involved in currently.