An Injury to One
An Injury to One relates the history of political conflict and environmental disaster in Butte, Montana, once considered the richest region on Earth. At the height of WWI ten percent of all copper was mined there. In the process, Butte became the most polluted site in the nation. The dramatic rise and fall of the city, and the environmental destruction left behind, is traced back to the Anaconda Mining Company. The company's extreme indifference to safety (mortality rates in the mines were higher than in the trenches of Europe) led to the arrival of Frank Little, an organizer for the International Workers of the World, during a heated struggle between miners and their bosses. As his popularity increased, so did the company's distaste for him. In August 1917, Little was abducted by still-unknown assailants who lynched him on a railroad bridge. The murder provides An Injury to One with a taut narrative, but it isn't the only story. Butte's history is bound with the destruction of the environment, the history of the American left, the rise of McCarthyism, and even the birth of the detective novel.
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