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The Hawk's Nest Incident: Americas Worst Industrial Disaster
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The Hawk's Nest Incident: Americas Worst Industrial Disaster

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  11 ratings  ·  3 reviews
The worst occupational health disaster in American history occurred nearly fifty years ago when hundreds of men died and over a thousand fell ill from acute silicosis contracted during the building of Union Carbide's Hawk's Nest Tunnel through Gauley Mountain in West Virginia. Presenting startling new evidence based on his extensive examination of local historical material ...more
Paperback, 16 pages
Published September 10th 1989 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 1986)
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Nov 11, 2008 Ramona rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Law and History buffs
Recommended to Ramona by: Law School friend and colleague
I read this book while in law school, after a friend was discussing it. The book is rich in history and the narratives are intriguing. It also reminds us that human sacrifice is often the cost of corporate greed and progress.
The history of industrial (as well as governmental) abuse of workers, and subsequent denial and subterfuge, as well as pressure, to hide occupational accidents and unsafe conditions, is a long one in the United States, especially during the twentieth century. Particularly when the workers were black and poor. Even a cursory examination of extraction and chemical industries would make one pause; deeply entrenched racism and capitalist greed have swept away black lives since the days of slavery (a ...more
Little known in the 1930s or now, Cherniack pieces together what is considered the most comprehensive and detailed account of the occupational health disaster that transpired when workers (mostly poor, migrant, and black) were exposed to silica dust while on the job building the Hawk's Nest Tunnel at the Gauley Bridge in West Virginia.

Through what records remain, legal documents, oral histories, and period press coverage, Cherniack argues that Union Carbide was aware of the health threat, did l
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