"In dramatic detail, A Mighty Force brings to life the story of Dr. Elizabeth Hayes who, true to the oath that she took as a physician, bravely fought against powerful forces on behalf of her vulnerable patients. Dr. Betty should be a household name – not only did she pave the way for improved health and wellness of miners everywhere, but she also paved the way for generations of women physicians to walk out of their clinics demanding better for their patients."
– Mona Hanna-Attisha, Flint, Michigan pediatrician and author of What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City—
“An engrossing, fast-paced biography of a woman who devoted years of her life to a heroic fight against the appallingly unsanitary conditions of a mining town and the venality of its intransigent owners.”
–Cathy Curtis, author of A Splendid Intelligence: The Life of Elizabeth Hardwick—
“Even though her subject's personal papers have not survived, Marcia Biederman has successfully documented the events that made Dr. Betty Hayes briefly famous as a company doctor and advocate for public health and sanitation. Biederman captures the spirit of 1945 and 1946 in A Mighty Force, which chronicles the persistence of Dr. Betty and her miners, the strategies of resistance by corporate managers and owners, and the squalid living conditions that mining families were forced to endure in unincorporated company-owned towns.”
– Janet Wells Greene, Ph.D., author, Cameras in the Coalfields: Photographs as Evidence for Comparative Coalfield History—
NetGalley review: 5 stars
Last Updated 28 Jun 2021
"Amazing and inspirational. 2 words that barely describe what environmental health activist Dr Elizabeth Hayes work means to our world. I learned a lot about a woman I had never heard of! This book was really well done, made it easy for me to read and I honestly think it should be required reading in science classes. Absolutely great book about a true hero for people and the environmental activism movement."
—Holly Senecal, Consumer Reviewer—
“This spirited biography rescues a well-deserving public health crusader from obscurity.” —Publishers Weekly—
NetGalley Review: 5 stars
Last updated on 26 Sep 2021
"Great story-telling about an unsung hero
I loved this book. The story-telling and character development are excellent. The book reads more like a novel than a history book; it is so much more than a list of names and dates. The story is well paced and I found it difficult to put the book down. It has everything I was expecting, a mix of history, science, and politics. The hardest part of the book to accept was that such unsanitary conditions existed so late into the 20th century. I had to check the dates on occasion as a reality check. This is a great read about an unsung hero and I recommend it for anyone interested in history or public health. Thank you to Netgalley and Rowman & Littlefield for the advance reader copy."—Stephen Goldberg, freelance reviewer—