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Kevin Corley

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Corley grew up in Shelbyville and currently resides in Springfield. He graduated with a BA from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and a MA from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Biography: Kevin Corley is a retired history teacher and school administrator from central Illinois. As a teacher, he spent time talking to his students about the coal mines of central Illinois and the unionization of workers. Many of his students at the time were descendants of mining families. In 1988, he had the opportunity to do oral history interviews of over forty central Illinois residents who had experienced the tumultuous mining events of the 1930s.His novels focus on the Christian County coal mines in the early 1900s. ''Sixteen Tons'' covers the years 1898 to 1933, when the United Mines Workers Union was just emerging. ''Throw Out the Water'', covers the Christian County Coal Mine War from 1933 to 1937 in which there were dozens of bombings, gunfights, and unsolved murders. The war stemmed from the struggle between the Progressive Miners of America and the United Mines Workers Union.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Historical Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Kevin Corley on WorldCat :
Kevin Corley on WorldCat:

Selected Titles

Sixteen tons :
ISBN: 0991163990 OCLC: 878707206

Hard Ball Press, [Brooklyn, N.Y.] : ©2014.

SIXTEEN TONS carries you down into the dark, dirty and dangerous coal mines of the early 1900s, as Italian immigrant Antonio Vacca and his sons encounter cave-ins and fires deep below the earth's surface. The dangers above ground are equally deadly, as the men and women battle gun thugs, corrupt sheriffs and crooked politicians at Virden, Matewan and Ludlow in an epic struggle to form a union and make the mines a safer place to work. Historian Kevin Corley has fashioned a unique novel by interviewing retired miners, their wives and children across the country throughout Illinois. He has used these oral histories to fashion an honest, accurate portrait of life among the coal mining families. You will be moved by the dramatic events in the novel, which are all the more moving and inspiring, given their foundation among real individuals who walked through history. -- back cover.

Throw out the water :
ISBN: 9780986240010 OCLC: 958381213

During the Illinois coal mine wars of the 1930s Vinnie Vacca joins the new and radical Progressive Miners of America, while his brother Bullo stays with the established United Mine Workers of America. When the mine bosses hire thugs from the Capone mob the fight becomes bloody with gunfights and bombings. The boys' father Antonio struggles to make peace in the family and the community. This story is based on actual events in Central Illinois history.