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Jeffrey Leatherwood publishes well-received book

Jeffery Leatherwood (PhD 2009) recently published his book The Quest for Streetcar Unionism in the Carolina Piedmont, 1919-1922 (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017). This book derived from Leatherwood's dissertation at WVU.

Dr. Lealtherwood is now an associate professor of history at the American Military University. He taught at WVU for 4 years.

The book was recently reviewed with much praise by Dr. Robert Weldon Whalen,  Professor of History at Queens University of Charlotte. In his review published in The North Carolina Historical Review,Dr. Weldon Whalen wrote, "The New South is full of surprises. Who would have guessed that the humble streetcar had such tales to tell! Leatherwood's account is nuanced, rigorously researched, and engagingly written. It is an important contribution to our understanding of economic development, Southern labor history, and the paradozes peculiar to the New South,"

Read the full review below.

Book Synoposis

Ever since the courtroom doors closed in 1919, the tragic Charlotte Streetcar Strike has haunted the collective memory of the Carolina Piedmont region. During a season of labor unrest, it briefly made national headlines. Five men were killed and at least twelve others were wounded by gunfire during a demonstration against Southern Public Utilities, a subsidiary of James B. Duke’s Southern Power. For many who lived afterward in North Carolina’s “Queen City,” the strike and riot were events better left forgotten, while, for later generations, the “Battle of the Barn” has become an item of curiosity.

As the centennial approaches, this book represents the result of over ten years’ worth of primary research about the Charlotte Streetcar Strike, a story that rightfully belongs to a larger narrative about the AFL’s campaign to organize transportation workers among the textile mill towns of North and South Carolina. Prior to the 1919 Charlotte Strike, the national streetcar union had overcome fierce anti-labor sentiment, from South Carolina’s state capital of Columbia to the Upcountry citadel of Spartanburg. To AFL organizers, Charlotte represented the last link in the Piedmont chain.