Frank Little and the IWW by Jane Little Botkin
Spur Award Winner for Best Western Biography and Best Western First Nonfiction, Frank Little and the IWW: The Blood That Stained an American Family chronicles the story of Jane Little Botkin’s great-granduncle Frank H. Little (1878-1917) and his connection to the history of American labor and the first Red Scare. In doing so, Botkin throws into sharp relief the lingering consequences of political repression.
In the early morning hours of August 1, 1917, a black Cadillac snaked slowly up North Wyoming Street from an old delivery barn below the hill in Butte, Montana. The weather had been arid and unusually warm, and tempers were heated as well. But in the serene coolness of night, there was an aural crispness—a heavy silence that descended on the city after days of strikers’ demands for safer working conditions and fair employment, days after the great Speculator Mine swallowed 168 miners in fire and toxic fumes. The Butte town was exhausted and anxious. Six voiceless men slid out of the idling car. One stood sentry while the other five entered a boarding house at 316 North Wyoming Street. When they finished their sinister assignment, the consequences of a murder would shake the nation the nation to its core.