The Richest Hill on Earth by Richard S. Wheeler

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In this captivating historical novel, six-time Spur Award winner Richard S. Wheeler turns his storyteller's eye to a clash of towering ambitions in the American West, when the Copper Kings of Butte, Montana, wrestled each other for control of both the "richest hill on earth" and Montana's fledgling government.

The city of Butte looks like a cancerous mélange of smoky mine boilers and rudely constructed sheds when newspaperman John Fellowes Hall arrives on a cold spring day in 1892. Butte may be ugly, but it's the place to get rich. It's also a city full of stories--perfect for a journalist looking to make a name for himself. As an employee of mining titan William Andrews Clark, Hall becomes a part of the best story of them all: the fight among the Copper Kings.

Butte's three founding fathers were remarkable men with little in common other than ambition. Marcus Daly, a humble Irish immigrant, led the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. His political rival, the formidable William Andrews Clark, a brilliant but vain businessman, bought himself a United States Senate seat. And Augustus Heinze tried to steal the mines, using lawyers and bribed judges, only to be crushed by the Rockefellers. The Richest Hill on Earth captures their struggle as well as the stories of the ordinary people--the miners, their wives and children, the journalists, and even the psychics--trying to make their fortunes in the rapidly-changing West.
The Richest Hill of Earth is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Historical Fiction title.


About Richard S. Wheeler

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RICHARD S. WHEELER is the author of over fifty novels of the American West. He holds five Spur Awards and the Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions to the literature of the West. He lives in Livingston, Montana, near Yellowstone Park, and is married to Sue Hart, an English professor at Montana State University in Billings.
Published December 6, 2011 by Forge Books. 349 pages
Genres: History, Westerns, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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It is a mirror to a time and place where copper, for wires, for brass, for war and peace was clawed from the earth by men as disposable as machinery, men left without care or comfort to hide away in the tunnels so they might once more be warm as they cough up their lives.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Richest Hill on Earth

Publishers Weekly

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The mine shaft and courtroom clashes of Butte, Mont.’s copper kings form the backdrop of the initially engaging latest from veteran western novelist Wheeler (Snowbound).

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Richest Hill on Earth

High Country News

The corruption inspired by Clark's senatorial aspirations helped prompt the 17th Amendment, while anti-trust sentiments were fueled by the conglomeration of mining companies and the gradual takeover of the Anaconda Company by William Rockefeller and Henry Rogers.

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Richest Hill on Earth

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