Synopses & Reviews
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.& nbsp; During an effort to improve safety in the mine, a fire sparked more than 2,000 feet below ground, the fire spewed flames, smoke, and poisonous gas up the length of the wood-timbered shaft.& nbsp; Tragically, Granite Mountain connected to five other mines through a labyrinth of manways.& nbsp; Within an hour, more than four hundred men would be locked in a battle to survive.& nbsp; Within three days, one hundred and sixty-four of them would be dead.& nbsp; Fire and Brimstone is also the broader story of Butte, Montana at the outbreak of WWI.& nbsp; The fire would catalyze a two month spasm of disaster, strikes, murder, and ultimately occupation by federal troops.& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; The Anaconda Copper Mining Company had long been a corrupt institution and is still considered today as one of the most abusive corporations in the history of the American West.& nbsp; In response to this oppressive corporation, the IWW, a radical labor movement vowed the destruction of this capitalist system.& nbsp; And from this political maelstrom and mining disaster rose a Montana lawyer who would shape local and national history.
Recounting the remarkable stories of the men below ground and their families above, this volume focuses on two groups of miners who made the incredible decision to entomb themselves to escape the gas during what's known as the North Butte Mine Disaster of 1917 in which 164 miners died.
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.
About the Author
Michael Punke grew up on the North Platte River in Wyoming. During his teenage years he spent three summers as a "living history interpreter" at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. His professional experience includes work for a Montana senator and a stint on the White House Staff. He lives in Montana with his wife and two children.