Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Richard S. Wheeler, author of 'The Richest Hill on Earth'
So says Kirkus Reviews about The Richest Hill on Earth, by Richard S. Wheeler, who has won six Spur Awards. Kirkus also named the novel a Best of 2011 Historical Fiction title.
This story is set in the late 1800s, in Butte, Montana, an industrial city built on and around the - actual - richest hill on earth. Butte was a dangerous and exciting place back then. It was a time when the Copper Kings wrestled each other for control of gold, silver, and copper deposits, as well as Montana’s fledgling government.
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.
During this week's program, Richard Wheeler will talk about the research he did for the the novel and read two passages from The Richest Hill on Earth. Listen to the program on the radio or online.