Website Main Menu

War of the Copper Kings

front cover: War of the Copper Kings

Greed and corruption, bribery and fraud, insiders getting fabulously rich while workers get robbed.

Sound familiar? That was the great battle for Butte, Montana, at the dawn of the twentieth century when it was the richest hill on earth. Copper was the treasure, eagerly sought after for wiring the modern world, and the hard rock below Butte was riddled with veins of the precious metal.

Those who controlled the copper mines stood to make billions of dollars, the prize sought by three men who fought for Butteís mineral wealth with greed and generosity, cruelty and compassion, cowardice and courage. In this astonishing battle, they used their fabulous wealth to buy courts, newspapers, politicians, banks, police, and anything and anyone that could help them or hinder their opponents. To get what they wanted, their money flowed like snowmelt throughout the mile-high city and eventually reached the nationís capital.

All the while the miners toiled thousands of feet below ground in tunnels dug with blasting powder, picks, and shovels. And sometimes, backed by rival copper kings, they also battled, with fists and dynamite, either on the streets of Butte or far below the surface.

At the time, Butte was the largest city between Minneapolis and Portland, and it was a wide-open town, only recently born in the rugged Rocky Mountains. Illustrated by rare, historical photographs, The War of the Copper Kings tells the story of Butte and the copper kings, a story of raw human drama and timeless historical significance.

The 304-page book features 12 historic photographs and an index, the first ever compiled for The War of the Copper Kings. It sells for $19.95 and is available at bookstores and other locations across the state.

It can also be ordered directly from the Society, plus shipping, by calling toll-free 1-800-243-9900.

War of the Copper Kings is part of the Western History Classics series, copublished by Montana Historical Society Press and Riverbend Publishing.