Dr. Evans, in a modest preface, says that he did not intend to write a social history of the miners, but only of the miner as a trade unionist, and, he might have added, with the story ending in 1912. There is nothing about leaders such as Horner, Hodges and Paynter. There is little or nothing about how the labour force or the colliery communities grew, and no indication that the colliers developed an interest in politics or that their outlook was affected by the spread of education. There is no feeling that there was blood on the coal, perhaps because the strike was not the best weapon to use to secure safer conditions. General improvement in safety came about through pressure to improve the mining code, while a letter to the inspector of mines would ensure that he visited any particular colliery where safety regulations were not observed. Thus the title of this book raises hopes which it fails to fulfil. Even within the limits of his theme, however, the author's account sometimes lacks clarity. Truck, we are told, was not unduly oppressive in the early nineteenth century in 1834 it was "no less oppressive" than in the past. It is hard, too, to believe that the Monmouthshire strike of 1843 could "pave the way" for the Miners' Association formed many months before this strike occurred. The author rightly mentions the multiplicity of reasons which might explain the slow growth of trade unionism, but the relative importance to be attributed to each remains un- clear. Sometimes Dr. Evans seems to stress weakness on the men's side, such as a reluctance to pay union dues or the lack of strong Welsh leadership, while at others he puts forward the unrelenting hostility of the employers as the foremost reason. The story Dr. Evans tells could have been related more closely and accurately to the background of persons and economic conditions. The main references to the men's leaders come in Chapter Ten and read like a series of obituary notices detached from the general narrative. Sir W. T. Lewis, the leader of the employers for a generation and an implacable op- ponent of trade unionism, is not mentioned. During the 1840S the coal trade experienced its typical ebb and flow, with demand at its peak during the railway mania, and during this decade the new phenomenon of strikes for wage advances appeared. But Dr. Evans tells us that the years 1840-51 were characterised almost without exception by low prices for coal and he explains the strikes for advances as the reaction of men rendered desperate by long depression. The authority for this gloomy view is an essay written over fifty years later for a Treorchy Eisteddfod by an author with the appropriate pen name of "Nil Desperandum". Statements made by Dr. Evans bear little relation to the statistics he gives in his appendix. Coal prices at the pit-mouth, he says, make it clear that operating costs increased "steadily" between 1874 and 1912. But prices of 1os. 3d. in 1890 and 6s. od. in 1896, or an average price for the years 1876-8 and for the years 1895-7 of 9s. 4d. hardly make this clear. Again, between 1875 and 1912 the rate of increase in output per annum was, "with a few exceptions," of the order of one million tons-the few exceptions account for 29 out of these 38 years. The strength of this book lies in its admirable narrative of events.