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Montana History Books

The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia, 3rd Ed.
Michael Dougherty, Heidi Pfeil Dougherty
8 1/2 x 11, 584 pages, b&w photos, maps
List Price:   $29.95

Even the most famous explorers relied on a knowledgeable guide. And nowhere will you find a more knowledgeable guide than The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia. It would require almost a dozen of the top guidebooks on Montana to find the information contained in this single volume—and you still wouldn’t have everything that is in this book!

Wellington Rankin: His Family, Life and Time
Volney Steele
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paperback, 240 pages

This is the only published biography of this remarkable man. Rankin helped shape much of 20th Century Montana history. His famous sister, Jeannette Rankin, would have never been elected to Congress without his astute political savvy. During his time, Rankin was the largest private landowner in the United States, owning over one million acres in Montana. He was a flambouyant attorney who was involved in many landmark legal cases and a defender of the little guy. Rankin was a private man and left behind few records. What he left behind were sealed by the family and stored in the Montana Historical Society archives. The author spent over ten years researching court records, news articles, and interviewing family, friends, and contemporaries of the man to piece together the story of this fascinating character. A must read for Montana history buffs

Big Sky Politics: Campaigns and Elections in Modern Montana
Jon Bennion
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paperback, 270 pages

Big Sky Politics is an overdue, detailed account of post-war politics in Montana. Starting with the break-up of the New Deal coalition in 1946 and ending with the most recent off-year election in 2002, Big Sky Politics lays out each general election for president, governor, U.S. Senate and Congress with well-researched commentary. Each summary has a detailed map showing which candidate each county supported. Photos, graphs, and certified election results complete the picture and bring each political contest to life. The author, Jon Bennion, is a native of Montana, born and raised in Billings. He has worked on compaigns at both the state and local levels. He is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Montana in Missoula.

Montana: High, Wide Handsome
Joseph Kinsey Howard
List Price:   $16.95 •
Your Price: $11.87

In these pages you will come to fall in love with a ruggedly diverse and strikingly beautiful state, a land that takes hold and won’t let go. Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome is widely recognized as a classic history and delightful ode to the idiosyncratic personalities, restless landscape, unforgettable peoples, and lively history of the Treasure State. William Kittredge provides a new introduction for this edition.

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Orphan Boy
by R.J. Milne, Jr.
8 x 5.10 paperback, 108 pages

The year was 1909, and one young boy found himself alone and unwanted, left to fend for himself in trying times. Russell J. Milne, Sr., orphaned at the age of five, was shuffled between relatives – and often strangers – to work for his room and board. Sent to live in Montana, he endured harsh winters working as a farmhand; braved treacherous working conditions as a miner in Butte’s copper mines; and eventually owned his own successful business in excavation. Possessing an affection for animals, he also had an affinity for horses – of which he owned several in his time – and even trained one to jump into the back of his truck for a ride home, at the end of a long workday. He was also an excellent rider, and, at one time even participated in a rodeo. This story recounts his many adventures, how he overcame seemingly impossible obstacles as a young orphan, to rise to the top and become a successful entrepreneur and family man. His story is truly an inspiration to future generations – and that anyone can succeed, if they choose to do so.

Montana Legacy
Harry Fritz, Mary Murphy (Editor), Robert Swartout (Editor)
List Price: $19.95 •
Your Price: $13.97

A rich and varied tapestry, Montana Legacy looks at the people, cultures, places, and events that shaped present-day Montana from Plentywood to Butte, Great Falls to Virginia City, and Billings to Browning. Designed to make readers think about Montana history in a new way, this anthology features 16 essays chosen for their relevance, readability, and scholarship. The volume's editors--all well-known Montana historians--carefully selected topics, from the fur trade to power deregulation, that range across two centuries and expose Montana's cultural and geographical diversity.

Hope in Hard Times (Published in English)
Mary Murphy
List Price $22.00 •
Your Price: $15.40

In the 1930s and 1940s, four Farm Security Administration photographers were detailed to Montana to document the effects of the Depression on the state. The four--Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, and John Vachon--captured the many facets of the Depression in Montana: rural and urban, agricultural and industrial, work and play, and hard times and the promise of a brighter future. Taken by men and women who became some of America's best-known photographers, the photographs of Rothstein, Wolcott, Lee, and Vachon are both stunning pieces of art and important historical documents. Today these striking images present an unforgettable portrait of a little-studied period in the history of Montana. Selected from the FSA Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the photographs in Hope in Hard Times offer viewers an unparalleled look at life in Montana in the years preceding the United States' entry into World War II.

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A Guide to Historic Missoula
Allan Mathews
List Price: $12.95 •
Your Price: $10.36

The Montana Mainstreets guidebook series focuses on the history and architecture of Montana towns. Based on State Historic Preservation Office records, this book provides windows to the past, pointing readers to the buildings, historic sites, and parks that act as monuments to Missoula's history. Detailed maps, historic photographs, and lively prose help these guides bring Montana's history and architecture alive.

Explore the history of one of Montana's most interesting communities. Situated west of the Continental Divide, the town of Missoula was founded in 1860 as a trading post. Supplying miners with produce, flour, other trade goods, and later with lumber was Missoula's early raison d'etre. Its designation as county seat in 1866 and the arrival of the Northern Pacific in 1883 and the Milwaukee Road in 1909 cemented the community's role as a center of commerce. Its economy diversified further when it became home to the state university--now called University of Montana--in 1895 and the U.S. Forest Service's regional district headquarters for the Rocky Mountains in 1908.

With a flourishing downtown district and well-preserved historic homes, Missoula's streetscapes today reflect the town's abundant history, thanks, in part, to a successful historic preservation program that has preserved the community's rich architectural legacy. Missoula's buildings, parks, and historic sites are waiting to be discovered, on the streets of Missoula and through this fascinating guide.

The Undying West
Carlene Cross
List Price: $16.95 •
Your Price: $11.87

In The Undying West, Carlene Cross creates a memorable blend of personal and regional history. The voices in her stories include those of her father and his "sod-busting" friends; the Salish, Kootenai, Nez Perce, and Iroquois Indians; the fossil remains of Montana's prehistory; and even the wind, the soil, and the prairie grasses. Cross is a storyteller in the tradition of such notable Western writers as William Kittredge, Rick Bass, and Ivan Doig. And like them, she offers a personal testament to the enduring qualities of the West.

Includes 50 black and white photographs and maps.

Paradise Valley, Montana (Images of America)
Doris Whithorn
List Price: $18.99

Paradise Valley, located midway between Gardiner and Livingston, Montana, is aptly named. The area is surrounded by spectacular national parks and forests, follows the curves of the scenic Yellowstone River, and is hemmed with snow-capped mountains. But the stark beauty of the territory belies the often difficult way of life encountered by the area's early inhabitants.

Montana Campfire Tales
Dave Walter
List Price: $16.95

Dave Walter is one of Montana's leading historians-and one of the Big Sky Country's most gifted storytellers. Here, in this compelling collection of tales drawn form his vast repertoire, Walter offers us fourteen glimpses into Montana's rich and colorful past. Gather around the campfire as Walter revisits the tragic Baker Massacre, recounts Truman Everts's harrowing ordeal in Yellowstone, and lampoons Carrie Nation's ill-fated temperance campaign in the rough-and-ready mining metropolis of Butte. Montana Campfire Tales is destined to become a classic of western storytelling.

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