A Terrible Unrest

Written by Philip Duke
Review by Christoph Fischer

A Terrible Unrest is the story of a Greek immigrant family caught up in the 1913 Colorado Coalfield War: a violent confrontation between union members and the military.

The book describes the family’s misfortune since their arrival; in particular prejudice, a work accident and personal tragedy. It portrays the immigration experience with painful honesty and has a most realistic feel. Increasing tension between the unions and the company is nicely woven into the Social injustice – real and perceived, prejudice, politics and miscarriages of justice lead to inevitable confrontation.

The novel is well researched although the author admits some liberties in the timeline and events to make it more palatable for the reader. I was more impressed by the historic detail and knowledge than the personal plot line which, in parts, was foreseeable.

Not having known anything about the conflict, mining in the US and the location during this period, I have learned some interesting information and discovered an insight into the people and history.