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Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill…

Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster

by Melissa Fay Greene

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This is a compelling story of miners who were trapped underground. In [Last Man Out] [Melissa Fay Greene] does an excellent job of capturing the emotions of those trapped as well as the families above ground. She also connects the political and economic climate of the time by telling the story of how these Canadian miners ended up connected to Georgia's fight for tourist dollars and caught experiencing segregation first hand. This is an emotional and well told story on many levels. ( )
  MsHooker | Jun 25, 2015 |
This is a rivetting story of a great mine disaster that became a miracle rescue operation. The author has captured the tension, drama, and elation as events unfold, day by day by day. The events of the trip to Georgia, where the hero of the bump was excluded from hotels and dinners because he happened to be black, has been told, and how he encouraged the others to go. A great story. ( )
  Hawken04 | Jan 28, 2013 |
Seeing that this account of a 1958 Nova Scotia mine disaster was written by the author of Praying for Sheetrock: A Work of Nonfiction (1991) did attract my attention. Greene http://www.melissafaygreene.com/ provides a well-researched account of the struggle, courage, and suffering of trapped miners underground and agonized families above ground. Along the way, the author unveils links to Ed Sullivan and the state of Georgia. (lj) ( )
  eduscapes | Apr 22, 2010 |
This book is a heroic tale of coal miners surviving a mine disaster in Nova Scotia in 1958. Hardened, veteran coal miners toiling in the depths of darkness would battle for their very essence of life when the coal mine collapsed one fateful day. Nineteen miners would struggle to survive in the cavernous underground tomb; so black, so gaseous, that it is a miracle the miners would live to see daylight. Sadly, some did not.
This book is rivoting, gripping, and it pulls at your very heart strings.
The author, Melissa Faye Greene superbly leaves out no details about the disaster, the miners, their families, the town, the mining company, and the aftermath when the dust settles. Additionally, Greene captures raw emotions including love, courage, anger, despair, pain, and ultimately the test of humanities strength and comradirie in the face of doom.
This is a must read for reader's that love true life accounts of humanity's struggle to survive in the face of adversity.
I recommend it highly. ( )
  m7up69 | Nov 6, 2006 |
All her books are great. This could have been a standard disaster-survival tome. Instead it turns out to be about race relations. Don't want to give it away, read it, you won't regret your decision. ( )
  bherner | Oct 5, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0151005591, Hardcover)

On October 23, 1958, gases from deep within the earth shot skyward, causing entire floors of rock to rise instantly in a coal mine in Springhill, Nova Scotia, trapping 174 men underground. Seventy-five miners never made it out alive. Miraculously, two small groups of miners survived the initial "bump" but were sealed in small caverns deep within the coal. Surrounded by foul air and total darkness, and with precious little food and water, the men vacillated between optimism and hopelessness as they tried to maintain sanity amidst horrific conditions. Above them, fellow miners and rescue workers dug desperately to get them out, clinging to the unwritten Miner's Code that no man shall be left behind. After a week of digging and with hope all but exhausted, they found one group of a dozen miners; a day later seven more men were discovered. Melissa Fay Greene describes this harrowing ordeal in sharp detail, effectively capturing the drama of the event for both the miners trapped below and their distraught families waiting above.

Placing the event into a larger context, Greene describes how it became the first nationally televised disaster, as journalists from all over Canada and the U.S. converged on the small town and camped at the entrance of the mine. After their rescue, the men were the center of media attention, and some of them became instant celebrities (one was chosen as Canada's "Citizen of the Year"; another became a spokesman for 7-Up soda). She also details the bizarre episode in which an assistant to the governor of Georgia tried to spin the disaster into a marketing gimmick to promote tourism. To the segregationist governor's chagrin, one of the rescued miners turned out to be black, presenting him with a potential public relations nightmare. Though her use of fictionalized dialogue between the miners is sometimes distracting, Greene's extensive research brings this remarkable story to life, making Last Man Out an absorbing re-creation of a forgotten episode. --Shawn Carkonen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Relates the story of how an incredibly lucky group of miners managed to live through the worst mining accident of the twentieth century, the 1958 explosion at Nova Scotia's Springhill Mine.

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