“A hymn to working-class community and to men and women’s souls” Will Hutton, author of The State We’re In

“Refreshing and necessary … [The Shadow of the Mine] explains in loving, careful detail why working people’s relationship with Labour in former industrial communities … had become complex and ultimately soured.” Laura Pidcock, Red Pepper

“Their brilliant analysis of the decline of British coal mining, and its social and political effects, is required reading for those who would speak for this working class. It is in many ways a study in the lost world of British labourism.” David Edgerton, The Times Literary Supplement

The Shadow of the Mine reminds us why this spirit [of solidarity and collectivism] has lived on in the coalfields, in spite of people feeling a sense of political betrayal going back decades … enlightening.” The Guardian

“Their new book is essential reading for anyone who wants to dig deeper beyond vague generalizations about the “red wall” that have proliferated since December 2019…Beynon and Hudson encourage us to explore the long-term trends that have shaped the bewildering political situation we find ourselves in now” Charlotte Austin, Jacobin

“The Shadow of the Mine, is a moving account of 150 years of coalfield history, focusing on South Wales and Durham. It is not, however, a detached study of the past. By tracing the “deep story” of the marginalisation of Britain’s coalfields, it aims to understand the continuing exclusion of working-class people in deindustrialised areas from political and social life…if the current Labour leader wants to understand the challenges facing him, he would be far better reading The Shadow of the Mine than listening to PR companies telling him to wrap the party in a union jack.” Diarmaid Kelliher, Antipode Online

“This is the work of two outstanding ‘organic intellectuals’ of the very communities they are giving voice t…. It is a story which challenges … the many supposed truths canvassed by Conservative and Labour about class and politics in Britain”.  Alan Tuckman, Spokesman

“Shadow of the Mine is a story of communities being betrayed, not simply by having their livelihoods taken away, but their whole reason for being nullified” Martin Shipton, Western Mail

“This is a book that will make you angry. …. But it isn’t just an outburst of rage over the demise of a long-gone golden age. It also points the way to a better possible future”. Steve Davies,  New Socialist

“A concern for the dignity of those who made (and continue to make) their lives in the coalfields runs through the book like an unbroken seam”. Gavin Bridge

The Shadow of the Mine: Coal and the End of Industrial Britain , London, Verso, 2021, 402pp. ISBN -13:978-1-83976-156-0

This historical study of the coal industry tells of King Coal in its heyday and how communities of mining families created a unique and powerful social and political presence in areas like South Wales and Durham. In 1984 miners here were involved in a yearlong strike to save jobs  and to save coal mining. After the defeat the industry went into precipitous decline and this book outlines the social and political consequences that followed: often told in the words of the people themselves.


Beynon H, Grimshaw D, Rubery J and Ward K, (2002) Managing Employment Change: The New Realities of Work, Oxford University Press, London pp x + 342, ISBN 0 1992 4869 9/ 0 1992 4870 0

Here is a wonderful example of the (case study) approach to the study of complexity in
organisational change in employment….While many writers refer rather vaguely to trends in
‘globalisation’ or ‘work flexibility’ the great strength of this book is the way (it) gives real meaning
and flesh to these terms and ,many other. John Purcell, Industrial Relations Journal, 2004


Beynon H, Harvey M, and Quilley, S (2002) Exploring the Tomato: Transformations of Nature, Society and Economy, Edward Elgar Press,  ISBN 1 84376 189 0

Regenerating the Coal-fields



Beynon H, Bennett, K and Hudson, R (2000) Regenerating the Coal-fields, Policy Press




Beynon H, Cox, A. and Hudson, R (2000) Digging up Trouble: Opencast Coal-mining and Environmental Protest  Rivers Oram.




Beynon H, and Austrin, T. (1996) Masters and Servants: Class and Patronage in the Making of a Labour Organisation  “An example of both history from above and history from below …this account comes as close as any sociology does to capturing a comprehensive account of the lives of the people observed. …Beynon and Austrin have delivered something rather profound. Here there is life”. Ian Roberts, Sociology 1999




Rowbotham S and Beynon H (Editors) (2001) Looking at Class, Rivers Oram, London pp vii +248, ISBN 1 85489 120 0 (hb), 1 85489 121 9 (pb) [including 4 chapters]




Beynon H,  Hudson, R and Sadler, D. (1996) A Place Called Teesside, Edinburgh University Press



Beynon H,  Hudson, R. and Sadler, D (1992) A Tale of Two Industries, Open University Press



Beynon H. and Hedges, N. (1982) Born to Work, Pluto arguably, the outstanding photo-textual study of working life in 1970’s England.  Laurence McDonald  (Illusions, No.39. Winter 2007)



Beynon H and Wainwright, H. (1980) The Workers Report on Vickers Ltd.  Pluto There has been nothing like it since The Miners Next Step published in 1912 (Tony Lane)




Beynon H. and Nichols, T. (1979) Living With Capitalism, Routledge
“This book leaves a nagging realisation of the way modern industry dehumanises so many of its
workers, wastes their skills, and alienates them from the pundits who run our economy. The
elimination of their ‘alienation’ ought to be the prime aim of economic policy” Barbara Castle, The
Guardian, 25 August 1977
“if the political meaning of the book is ambiguous, as a work of Sociological analysis Living with
Capitalism is certainly of major significance” Richard Hyman, New Society, 25 August 1977




Beynon H  (1985) Working For Ford Penguin, second edition with two new chapters and preface
Beynon H  (1973) Working For Ford, Penguin. The unleashing of academics on to the shop floor has been a mixed blessing for working people.Huw Beynon is an exception. Working For Ford is an absolute delight, a rare and valuable contribution to our understanding of work and grass roots trade unionism. We hear the shop floor speaking and its voice is raucous, rebellious and utterly irreverent. (David Wilson, The Observer 27 June 1973)



Beynon H  and Blackburn, R.M. (1972) Perceptions of Work, Cambridge University Press, 1972 Republished 2011)

One thought on “Books

  1. Thank you so much for having some of these books available in pdf. I am preparing for my comprehensive exam on geographies of labor organizing. So I appreciate the access to these sources.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s