From structural violence, drug violence, poverty, and suicide to army veteran PTSD and the crisis of white male identity, each aspect is thoroughly examined for Professor Brad Evans’s latest book, “How Black Was My Valley: Poverty and Abandonment In A Post-Industrial Heartland” out on 10th April (Published by Repeater Books).

After over two decades delving into global violence, Brad Evans, a Professor of Political Violence & Aesthetics and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the University of Bath, turns his focus to his community, in South Wales’s former mining towns.

For over 20 years Prof Brad Evans has researched violence. What began on a research trip into the Zapatista Army, in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico; has now arrived at the Rhondda valleys. From the Middle East to Ukraine, violence erupts all over the world. But instead of choosing a distant land, Prof Brad Evans allows us to see him as the boy who grew up in poverty on the Penrhys housing estate in the late 70s and early 80s. He said:

“I’ve been asking myself why I needed to travel to the other side of the world to study violence when I grew up in communities blighted by similar issues of underdevelopment, political neglect, criminality and daily brutalities. The former mining valleys of South Wales top most league tables for social and political concern in the UK and beyond. Yet I barely wrote about them, let alone considered them as the focus for my research.”

“How Black Was My Valley” is a people’s history of the former mining communities of South Wales. Weaving together the personal with the political, it offers a damning depiction of the hardship and suffering, the tragedy and pain, as a politically abandoned people went from powering the British Empire and the Great Wars to a broken post-industrial community, lost in time. Poverty, unemployment, structural violence, the crisis of white male identity, army veteran PTSD, the alarming increase in drug abuse and suicide are impossible for Prof Brad Evans to ignore in the post-industrial community of the valleys.

Praise for “How Black Was My Valley”:

"Written with authentic authority. It is evocative and excellent in every possible way". Neil Kinnock , Former leader of British Labour Party

"Each carefully constructed sentence, every beautifully recorded or imagined moment, is placed alongside tragedy’s reality". Phil Scraton, Author of Hillsborough: The Truth.

"Evans beautifully crafted words and thoughts are now seared into me forever". Lucy Easthope, Author of When The Dust Settles.

Brad Evans book launch at Y Tabernacl Auditorium, Powys, 12 April 2 PM Brad Evan’s book talk at Topping and Company Booksellers, Bath, 2nd May 7.30 PM