Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Strugg (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 17, 2012 - History - 880 pages
20 Reviews
Hailed as "toweringly important" (Baltimore 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 engaged President Theodore Roosevelt, Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the politics and passions of an entire 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 detective, Pinkerton James McParland, takes over the investigation. His daringly 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, acquisitive West, were pitted against each other in something close to class war.

Lukas paints a vivid portrait of a time and place in which actress Ethel Barrymore, baseball phenom Walter Johnson, and editor William Allen White jostled with railroad magnate E. H. Harriman, socialist Eugene V. Debs, gunslinger Charlie Siringo, and Operative 21, the intrepid Pinkerton agent who infiltrated Darrow's defense team. This is a grand narrative of the United States as it charged, full of hope and trepidation, into the twentieth century.
  

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Review: Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America

User Review  - Jason Reeser - Goodreads

I may get back to finish this, but there wasn't much of a story here. The evidence of this is the way the author spends so much time on in-depth biographies of each character that appears. Long ... Read full review

Review: Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America

User Review  - Nate - Goodreads

***SPOILER ALERT*** Packed with digressions, its more of a historical encyclopedia of its era than a tight narrative, this is a very well researched tome. The author's anti-union bias is hinted at ... Read full review

Contents

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IV
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IX
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Page 41 - Presley saw again, in his imagination, the galloping monster, the terror of steel and steam, with its single eye, cyclopean, red, shooting from horizon to horizon; but saw it now as the symbol of a vast power, huge, terrible, flinging the echo of its thunder over all the reaches of the valley, leaving blood and destruction in its path ; the leviathan, with tentacles of steel clutching into the soil, the soulless Force, the iron-hearted Power, the monster, the Colossus, the Octopus.

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About the author (2012)

J. Anthony Lukas won two Pulitzer Prizes: the first for his reporting at The New York Times, where he served for a decade as a foreign and domestic correspondent; the second for Common Ground, which also brought him the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

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