Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America (PDF)
Secrets of a Great Resume eI love baseball but that is not what I wasxpecting to read about here Examples like those detract from the overall uality of the book at least for me My To Die For edition was 754 pages I think itasily could have been reduced by 13 and the book probably would have been better There was a long section on Socialist organizing and unions out East only for Lukas to later call it a sideshow As I was reading at one point I thought to myself Can we get to the trial yet I was on page 429 It was almost one hundred pages before Lukas got to the beginning of the trial and Celestial Teachings even then he kept careening off courselsewhere This is not a bad book but it tested my patience unlike any book I have read in the last several years Where Lukas is good is when he actually focuses on the murder the trial the jury selection and the providing context to the times the people and Idaho When he does this the narrative is interesting and the writing flows And some of the jaunts that he makes are worthwhile such as Theodore Roosevelt s involvement It was larger than he or his administration let on Also Lukas provided a lot of background on the Pinkerton Detective Agency and in particular James McParland one of its high ranking officials whose methods were highly dubious and Belly Up (FunJungle) ethically uestionable I could go on but I don t want to be long winded as I think Lukas did thatnough for me Again this is not a bad book the historical context is well done if not usually too well done characters are fleshed out the parts that concern the trial are very good and the state of Idaho itself feels like a character given how much Lukas focuses on it If you have a few weeks that you would like to devote to reading about the Western Federation of Miners Socialism and Viet Cong early 1900s western America this would be a good choice OtherwiseGrade C SPOILER ALERTPacked with digressions its of a historicalncyclopedia of its Sex Fitness Stroke Skills Americana era than a tight narrative this is a very well researched tomeThe author s anti union bias is hinted at throughout the book but in the afterward he reveals himself declaring the guilt of the accused all of whom were acuitted BTW based on correspondence between two socialist journalists a decade after the fact One of those journalists was utterly discredited by othervidence presented within the book so its a pretty weak hook to hang someone s historical reputation onLots of bad actors back in the day Reminds me at what bitter cost what little measure of workplace safety and dignity we have today was purchased For contemporary broadly defined history I will usually prefer a professional journalist to an academic historian They often write better presumably because unlike academics they have to be able to sell copy to publishers and readersLukas Big Trouble is a good Wofford College, South Carolina example of anxcellent piece of history composed by a journalist Not only does he tell the story of a particular trial which highlighted class struggle in arly 20th century America but he also fleshes it out with apt descriptions of small town life in the west of baseball town life in the west of baseball authentic popular roots of US labor history and of the lives of such principals as Clarence Darrow and Big Bill Haywood President of the Western Federation of Miners and one of the founders of the IWW So doing he makes the time and the place of his account real to the reader as real as a good novel After he finished writing Big Trouble J Lukas grew despondent and committed suicide Although Lukas may have that he failed in his ambition for this book I for one am grateful for the work that he left behind This is a long sprawling book about a part of American history that most people know very little about the near civil war that raged in the Western United States in the 1890 s and arly 1900 s that pitted miners against mine owners and their allies in governmentAt that time our country was far from a perfect union and the collision of these forces as mining companies Cucked in Cancun (Queen of Spades Book 3) embarked on large scalexploitation of the West s natural resources mobilizing masses of laborers led to violence and insurrection Pivotal vents in the book include the assassination of Idaho governor Frank Steuenberg by a mysterious "gunman and the nsuing trial of a union official who was his alleged assailant the rebellion "and the The Last Time We Saw Marion ensuing trial of a union official who was his alleged assailant the rebellion Coeur D Alene silver miners and anxplosion in Colorado The book which was To Have or to Be? The Nature of the Psyche extensively researched by Lukas is this and much We get the inside story of how detective agencies operated on behalf of the miners and government officials We learn about how jury manipulation was practiced in 1905 in Idaho Anntire chapter is devoted to professional baseball in the Western states while another chapter illuminates for us the traveling Historia de arrabal entertainment circuit that served the growing and newly respectable cities of this region focusing on a particular appearance by the young Ethel BarryThis is history from the ground up as well as the bird sye view It s a wonderful immersion xperience that also reminds us that class warfare with the mphasis on warfare is part of the American Story A little background as it relates to this book Frank Steunenberg August 8 1861 December 30 1905 was the fourth Governor of the State of Idaho serving from 1897 until 1901 He is perhaps best known for his 1905 assassination by one time union member and paid assassin Harry Orchard who was also an informant for the Cripple Creek Mine Owners Association Orchard attempted to implicate leaders of the radical Western Federation of Miners in the assassination The labor leaders were found not guilty in two trials Clarence Darrow defended them but Orchard spent the rest of his life in prison Steunenberg was assassinated in retaliation for his actions that he. Ve Pinkerton James McParland takes over the investigation His daringly Georgette Heyers Regency World executed plan to kidnap the radical union leader Big Bill Haywood from Colorado to stand trial in Idaho sets the stage for a memorable courtroom confrontation between the flamboyant prosecutor progressive senator William Borah and the young defender of the dispossessed Clarence Darrow Big Trouble captures the tumultuous first decade of the twentieth century when capital and labor particularly in the raw acuisitive West we. Oh man this is a hard book to review Buried deep within this uite lengthy tome is a great book about the assassination of former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg and thensuing Trial of the Century of Big Bill Haywood The problem is that within the book are a couple dozen good long articles on other subjects some of which are related to the main story and arguably useful and some of w Wow The amount of work it takes to produce one of these tomes is unbelievable reading countless old newspaper articles court transcripts letters papers books The Meaning of Creation etc I lovedvery word of it The story is about the dreadful assassination of the former governor of Idaho by a bomb under his front gate triggered by its opening right after Christmas 1905 The perpetrator apprehended uickly fingered three officials of a mining union who were then prosecuted in 1907 In telling the story the author has written a comprehensive tale of American labor struggles but also of multiple other aspects of American life such as the blatant cor Possibly the most My Brothers Keeper engrossing history I have read It does read like a novel bu with the occasional brief detour toxplain who the Buffalo Soldiers were at they appear in the tale as the first black soldiers to guard white men the mine strikers who are at the base of this story The great labor leaders of the robber baron La decisión de Stinger era aressentially kidnapped by agents of the state of Idaho to try for the murder of a past governor who put down the miners strike The cast includes legal and political luminaries sports and Celebrity Pass entertainment celebrities villanous privateyes the Pinkertons indians mormons soldiersThough seven hundred plus pages it will not sit at the bedside for Dirty Desire (Dread and Terrible, even a week Lukas was a gifted writer and his talents are on full display in Big Trouble For the writing alone I can t rate this book below four stars But I can t rate it any higher because for me the material was too sprawling Virtuallyvery individual or notable place or Star Wars Myths Fables event received a three or four page diversional history When it worked I loved the richness of the story and when it didn t I couldn t wait for the author to get back to the main point Sometimes I checked out mentally andither went back to re read a passage or I accepted the inevitable confusion awaiting meMuch of the material relates to the history of the lead characters of the book the northwestern US mainly Idaho and its leading inhabitants in the last and first decades of the 19th 20th centuries respectively the mineworkers and mine owners of the northwest labor unions the press the Socialist party and sundry people and histories of the time I would recommend this book with reservations Idahoans and fans of late 19th century history seem to be a wheelhouse audience I read the paperback but Kindle would have been a better choice for the dictionary I should have regularly consulted but didn t have handy It might be best appreciated as an audible book on a long ride through the northwestern US a really long ride it s a big bookI m a much bigger fan of Lukas s grand pic Common Ground The writing was outstanding as it is in Big Trouble and the story is tightly bound Lukas was living in the
era of the book and interviewed its subjects over long periods so of the book and interviewed its subjects over long periods so Was No Speculation About The Events Depicted no speculation about the vents depicted there was in Big Trouble and his personal interjections seemed stronger Perhaps Common Ground was appealing to me because I m familiar with the names and places described Calculus for Biology and Medicine: United States Edition even if I was too young to remember thevents but in familiar with the names and places described Ah ! My Goddess - Tome 23 even if I was too young to remember thevents but in The Gondola Maker event I would recommend Common Ground to a wider audience You know the feeling you have when you talk to someone who is long winded Someone who starts talking about a certain topic but uickly gets derailed launching off into something that may only be tangentially related to the original point of discussion only to come back to it then uickly go away from it again in a completely different direction And thend result is that the conversation you thought you were going to have was not uite what you had xpected and tried your patience in the process That is what this book was to meThis is ostensibly about the assassination of former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg And it is somewhat But J Anthony Lukas bounces around so much that there are many times in the book the reader is carried far away both mentally and geographically from Caldwell Idaho We spend time in Denver in New York in Chicago in Spokane WA in Kansas in Canada in Washington DC in Cuba in Pennsylvania and all over Idaho I am sure I am leaving a few places out Some of the detours make sense although I think the time spent in some of the places was xcessive And some did not need to be in the book at allTwo Drawing with Your Four- to Eleven-Year-Old examples of the latter 1 the actress Ethel Barry happened to be traveling through Boise doing a play while the murder trial of William Haywood was ongoing She attended the trial for the one day that she was in town That is thextent of her connection using that word loosely to what the book is supposed to be about She had no personal interest nor knew anyone involved in the trial Instead of devoting one paragraph to her appearance coinciding with the trial Lukas talks about her for fifteen pages 2 The Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Walter Johnson was just beginning his career not ven in the big leagues yet playing for the small town of Weiser ID Yes he was a sensation Yes on Sundays when the trial was not in session many of its participants went to baseball games and a few of them involved Johnson No he had absolutely nothing to do with the trial Yet about a dozen pages are devoted to him Again this could have been dispensed with in a single paragraph And I say this as a baseball fan. Hailed as toweringly important Balti Sun a work of scrupulous and significant reportage E L Doctorow and an unforgettable historical drama Chicago Sun Times Big Trouble brings to life the astonishing case that ultimately ngaged President Theodore Roosevelt Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and the politics and passions of an ntire nation at century's turn After Idaho's former governor is blown up by a bomb at his garden gate at Christmastime 1905 America's most celebrated detecti.