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The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Revenant--basis for the award-winning motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio--tells the remarkable story of the worst hard-rock mining disaster in American history. The worst hard-rock mining disaster in American history began a half hour before midnight on June 8, 1917, when fire broke out in the North Butte Mining Company's Granite Mountain shaft. Sparked more than two thousand feet below ground, the fire spewed flames, smoke, and poisonous gas through a labyrinth of underground tunnels. Within an hour, more than four hundred men would be locked in a battle to survive. Within three days, one hundred and sixty-four of them would be dead. Fire and Brimstone recounts the remarkable stories of both the men below ground and their families above, focusing on two groups of miners who made the incredible decision to entomb themselves to escape the gas. While the disaster is compelling in its own right, Fire and Brimstone also tells a far broader story striking in its contemporary relevance. Butte, Montana, on the eve of the North Butte disaster, was a volatile jumble of antiwar protest, an abusive corporate master, seething labor unrest, divisive ethnic tension, and radicalism both left and right. It was a powder keg lacking only a spark, and the mine fire would ignite strikes, murder, ethnic and political witch hunts, occupation by federal troops, and ultimately a battle over presidential power.
Butte was an incomparable city, but in late 1918, some of the things that made it so exceptional also made it incredibly cruel. That year, the Spanish flu swept across the country, killing some 675,000 Americans before year's end. Some of the country's highest mortality rates occurred in its cities--Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Butte. In less than six months, the virus killed almost 2 percent of Butte's residents and overwhelmed public health systems. Experimental treatments, civil unrest, death, and human resilience followed in the dramatic final weeks of the year. Author Janelle Olberding recounts the emotional struggle of the men and women who fought against, suffered from, and succumbed to influenza on the "Richest Hill on Earth."
Brian James Leech provides a social and environmental history of Butte, Montana’s Berkeley Pit, an open-pit mine which operated from 1955 to 1982. Using oral history interviews and archival finds, The City That Ate Itself explores the lived experience of open-pit copper mining at Butte’s infamous Berkeley Pit. Because an open-pit mine has to expand outward in order for workers to extract ore, its effects dramatically changed the lives of workers and residents. Although the Berkeley Pit gave consumers easier access to copper, its impact on workers and community members was more mixed, if not detrimental. The pit’s creeping boundaries became even more of a problem. As open-pit mining nibbled away at ethnic communities, neighbors faced new industrial hazards, widespread relocation, and disrupted social ties. Residents variously responded to the pit with celebration, protest, negotiation, and resignation. Even after its closure, the pit still looms over Butte. Now a large toxic lake at the center of a federal environmental cleanup, the Berkeley Pit continues to affect Butte’s search for a postindustrial future.
Montana's cowboys, miners, foresters, farmers and nurses entered World War I in April 1917 under the battle cry that would resonate on the battlefields in France--"Powder River, Let 'Er Buck!" Montana men served in a greater percentage per capita than any other state. Hundreds responded to the call, including local women and minorities, from the nation's first congresswoman, Jeannette Rankin, to young women serving as combat nurses on the front lines. Additionally, the state provided vital supplies of copper and wheat. Learn what role celebrities like "cowboy artist" Charlie Russell played in the war and how Montanans mobilized, trained and deployed. Acclaimed historian Ken Robison uncovers new and neglected stories of the Treasure State's contributions to the Great War.
In 2015, Bob Dylan said, "I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. And I played them, and I met other people that played them, back when nobody was doing it. Sang nothing but these folk songs, and they gave me the code for everything that's fair game, that everything belongs to everyone." In Hear My Sad Story, Richard Polenberg describes the historical events that led to the writing of many famous American folk songs that served as touchstones for generations of American musicians, lyricists, and folklorists. Those events, which took place from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, often involved tragic occurrences: murders, sometimes resulting from love affairs gone wrong; desperate acts borne out of poverty and unbearable working conditions; and calamities such as railroad crashes, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. All of Polenberg's account of the songs in the book are grounded in historical fact and illuminate the social history of the times. Reading these tales of sorrow, misfortune, and regret puts us in touch with the dark but terribly familiar side of American history. On Christmas 1895 in St. Louis, an African American man named Lee Shelton, whose nickname was "Stack Lee," shot and killed William Lyons in a dispute over seventy-five cents and a hat. Shelton was sent to prison until 1911, committed another murder upon his release, and died in a prison hospital in 1912. Even during his lifetime, songs were being written about Shelton, and eventually 450 versions of his story would be recorded. As the song—you may know Shelton as Stagolee or Stagger Lee—was shared and adapted, the emotions of the time were preserved, but the fact that the songs described real people, real lives, often fell by the wayside. Polenberg returns us to the men and women who, in song, became legends. The lyrics serve as valuable historical sources, providing important information about what had happened, why, and what it all meant. More important, they reflect the character of American life and the pathos elicited by the musical memory of these common and troubled lives.
When billionaire's daughter Alison Wolff disappears following a massacre at a party, nobody knows if she has been kidnapped or killed. Dan Starkey is hired to find the missing student but instead is drawn into a violent struggle between rival gangs. A drugs war is tearing the city apart and in response, a new church movement has sprung up. But when a controversial new abortion clinic is firebombed, Dan is asked to prove their involvement. In a Belfast rapidly descending back into chaos, Dan is left with an impossible choice - betray his client or risk losing his family...
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

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