Harry Orchard, professional killer, rolled up a record in the days when the mine owners and the labor unions waged what was...

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THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REVOLUTION

Harry Orchard, professional killer, rolled up a record in the days when the mine owners and the labor unions waged what was virtually civil war. That Orchard outlived the Western Federation of Miners -- which through his dynamiting operations got into disrepute -- that he held one of the top records for length of terms a life prisoner -- all this is unimportant compared to the story of his role as hatchet man for the top guys who managed to escape their punishment. Orchard seemed to have been born without a conscience, with no sense of right or wrong. He was a bigamist, an arsonist, a professional upgrader of low grade ore, a burglar, a murderer, and- most to his own liking- a dynamiter, who used enormous charges in order to be sure of his victims. A career made to order for the crime comics and the pulps, his has been bypassed because the intensity of the ""Rocky Mountain Revolution"" seems remote and unreal. In his final years, he was converted -- but Holbrook gives relatively little space to this phase of his checkered career. Americana -- focussed on an unsavory segment of labor's story, which helped make the reputations of better known characters such as William E. Borah, Clarence Darrow and Big Bill Haywood.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1956