Category Archives: Books

A Positive Message From Pat Dunne about a New Book

I heard from one of my classmates Roy Dunn about a new little book on Trona. It is called Why would anyone go to Trona? I got a copy and really enjoyed it. I imagine you have seen it because the author is your nephew Bryce Steven Banks. He tells the story from a kids perspective on his trips to visit his grandparents in Trona. I enjoyed it and am sharing with my daughters and grandchildren. I got a copy ordered through our local Barnes and Noble store and I think it is on Amazon as well. It would be good to spread the word on your Trona websites. I order a copy for my older brother Tom, class of 1948, who lives in Portland, OR and I was going to e-mail George Sherman about it to spread the word on his network, which seems mostly to focus on death notices. It would be good to add something positive.

Trona, Bloody Trona A book review by Mike Rhodes

I have meet a lot of lawyers who work on social and economic justice issues but have never met one quite like Paul Henry Abram. I look forward to his visit to Fresno on Friday, when he will appear in a benefit for listener sponsored radio station KFCF (see details below). Abram has written an extraordinary account of his experience representing the union members in ILWU local 35 who were on strike in Trona Ca in 1970. Most lawyers are more cautious (some would say conservative) than the activists they represent, but Abram gains the trust of the workers by being as militant as they are and willing to share the risks needed to win.

In the first couple of days after Abram arrives in Trona, he describes scenes that are neither conservative or nonviolent. The subtitle of the book is “A Revolution in Microcosm.” The strike against the Kerr-McGee plant in the Mohave Desert saw the workers and their legal counsel cutting electrical power to the plant, dynamiting communications systems, and “kidnapping” scab employees. I kept thinking, as I read these accounts, that it is good the statute of limitations has expired on these remarkable actions. The kidnapping charges, which Abram claims were all a big misunderstanding, were resolved in court – you will have to read the book to see what the judge and jury decided. To read the complete review go to: Trona, Bloody Trona  A book review by Mike Rhodes