Anywhere but Schuylkill by Michael Dunn



Welcome to a stop on the Coffeepot Blog Tour for Michael Dunn’s Anywhere but Schuylkill. I have a great review for you, so get comfy and settle in to check out this great book.


The Details 

Book Title: Anywhere But Schuylkill

Series: The Great Upheaval Trilogy

Author: Michael Dunn

Publication Date: September 25, 2023

Publisher: Historium Press

Page Length: 301

Genre: Historical Fiction 




The Blurb: 

In 1877, twenty Irish coal miners hanged for a terrorist conspiracy that never occurred. Anywhere But Schuylkill is the story of one who escaped, Mike Doyle, a teenager trying to keep his family alive during the worst depression the nation has ever faced. Banks and railroads are going under. Children are dying of hunger. The Reading Railroad has slashed wages and hired Pinkerton spies to infiltrate the miners’ union. And there is a sectarian war between rival gangs. But none of this compares with the threat at home. 


My Review: 

Thank you to the author and Coffee Pot Book Tours for providing a review copy of this book.

The Short Story: Gritty, violent and heart-wrenching story of life in a 19th century mining town. 

Anywhere but Schuylkill is the aptly named story of young Mike Doyle, son of a Pennsylvania coal miner. After his father is killed in a mine explosion, Mike and his family move in with his violent uncle, Sean. Always one pay packet away from hunger the family scrabbles to make ends meet. The threat of strikes, violence from rival gangs, and death or injury in the mines hangs over his young head daily. Any hope that young Mike has of creating a better life is slowly crushed until it seems too far out of reach. 

Author Michael Dunn draws a dark, terrible image of life in coal country. The story is as compelling as it is hard to read. This book should be requisite reading for anyone who longs for ‘the good ole days’. Short, brutish and apt to end violently, life in Schuylkill Country was anything but good. The historical detail is fantastic and the story itself moves along. It’s not an easy reader and not for those looking for a light-hearted tale. The characters are, for the most part, morally gray, including young Mike. I’d like to tell you there is a happy ending but I can’t. 

I recommend this to serious readers of American history looking of realistic depictions of 19th century life. 

I rate this book 4 ½ stars rounding up to 5 for Amazon



Buy Links: 

Universal Buy Link: 

Historium Press:


Author Bio:


Michael Dunn writes Working-Class Fiction from the Not So Gilded Age. Anywhere But Schuylkill is the first in his Great Upheaval trilogy. A lifelong union activist, he has always been drawn to stories of the past, particularly those of regular working people, struggling to make a better life for themselves and their families.


Stories most people do not know, or have forgotten, because history is written by the victors, the robber barons and plutocrats, not the workers and immigrants. Yet their stories are among the most compelling in America. They resonate today because they are the stories of our own ancestors, because their passions and desires, struggles and tragedies, were so similar to our own.


When Michael Dunn is not writing historical fiction, he teaches high school, and writes about labor history and culture.


Author Links: 





Amazon Author Page:




  1. Thank you so much for hosting Michael Dunn today, and for your brilliant review.

    Take care,
    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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