Frank Little and the IWW :
The Blood That Stained an
This book is as accurate as any story can be 100 years after the fact, and the writing has a cadence and flow that make it easy to read and hard to put down. It is the best analysis possible of one of American Labor’s most interesting, complicated, and important characters. —Richard I. Gibson, Montana Standard, July 30, 2017
Intrigue, mystery and murder all rolled up in the "blood that stained an American family."
Look at this published cartoon below and let your thoughts run. What happened here? Take a moment to dig into a chunk of labor history of which most folks have little knowledge. This is a new book written by Jane Little Botkin about her great-granduncle Frank Little. Frank was a labor organizer at the turn of the 20th Century. He was kidnapped, beaten, dragged through the streets, and lynched in Butte Montana in 1917. Countless rumors have surrounded the event for all these years, but the facts are revealed in the 100-year anniversary of Frank's death.
These rumors tugged and tore at the fabric of an American family for decades and the events surrounding the murder contoured American unions and politics for years to come. Perhaps they still do. The political ramifications in Frank's story serve to enhance the relevancy and timeliness of the book. This is not a novel, yet reads like one. It is an historical account with meticulous documentation.
"A giant hole in American labor history has been filled."
"Written in great detail and with historical elegance"
Ms. Botkin has woven together the epic tale of Frank Little's passionate quest to make a better life for himself and other miners, the culmination of times which gave way to the creation of the IWW, the Little family, the sacrifices of thousands of miners and their families, the backroom deals, the dregs of the press, the never-ending corruption, and the manner of murder and violence undertaken by those parties opposed to the miners having a better way of life. The story of Frank Little will stay with me as even in today's society, such injustice still goes on.
Frank Little and the IWW is a well-researched and compelling story, told, at may points with deserving and admirable engagement...Despite unavoidable mystery and uncertainty surrounding him, the author has been able to construct a narrative that finally tackles this important tale, and often compellingly so.—Jeffrey A. Johnson, Providence College
Labour/Le Travail No. 82
"...a splendid job of telling his story and demonstrating her great-granduncle's importance to American labor history."
Botkin's book is expertly researched and well written, deciphering the mystery of Frank Little's life and placing it in a rich historical context for those interested in labor and Montana labor history. — Jon Axline, Montana, the Magazine of Western History, Spring 20018
“This beautifully written account is also family history at its best. This book deserves to be read as much for its creative methodology as for its fascinating narrative. Insightful and highly recommended.”—Carlos A. Schwantes, author of Radical Heritage: Labor, Socialism and Reform
"Botkin's book destined to be the definitive Frank Little story..."
"Frank Little and the IWW is a family story, her own family story, as she rightly says."
She [Botkin] puts the story together, piece by piece, before our eyes, and that is large part of the pleasure of this text...Botkin has done a marvelous job with details, going far beyond the treatments of Frank Little in the standard histories of the IWW and the Western Federation of Miners. —Paul Buhl, MRonline, October 28, 2017,
—Kare, Goodreads ✩✩✩✩✩, September 1, 2017
"Jane Little Botkin’s account is, above all else, a human story, a recounting of the life of a man who fought for justice and fair treatment for workers, and paid the ultimate price for that fight."—J. G. Stinson, Foreword Reviews, April 27, 2017
—True West Magazine, Best of the West, Collector's Edition, 2018
Ultimately, with Frank Little and the IWW, Botkin connects her family history to the history of the American West and labor, while creating a much more complete picture of Frank Little than is generally presented, even in organizational histories of the IWW. This engaging study deserves the attention of historians of the West and labor, at the very least, to recognize the contributions of Frank Little as a labor organizer and ordinary American beyond his torture, hanging, and resulting martyrdom. — Derek W. Donwerth, Western Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, Issue 2, April 1, 2018
"Verdict - Especially appealing for those interested in the history of the American West and labor history."—Charles K. Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato, Library Journal Book Review, April 6,2017
Unraveling American Labor History. Frank Little and the IWW
Botkin has provided extensive documentation throughout the narrative, and then overlaid scenes from photographs and text of the era, showing what key actors might have experiences. Her vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, ads smells of early 20th-century working camps make real the challenges of life in that era.—David A Bullock, Walla Walla University, Pacific Quarterly Review, Spring 2018
Although family history is sometimes looked down upon by professional historians, Botkin demonstrates that this genre of history can be both scholarly and an intimate, compelling story. —Greg Hall, Eastern Illinois University, Missouri Historical Review, January 2018
Jane's manuscript has been picked up by a university press, and Jane is currently receiving numerous requests for interviews, book signings, and personal appearances. The book comes out this May and as timing would have it, near the 100th anniversary of her uncle's murder.
Jane (Janie to me) and I have known each other since we were 10. We have remained fast friends and share many commonalities to include our Oklahoma roots, family friendships, old boyfriends and lifetime dreams. We are always mistaken for sisters and sometimes don't even correct folks. I am not a publicist for Janie, and, in fact, she didn't know that I had sent this letter to a prominent journalist and author. I just recently spilled the beans! It is my wish Janie's family story is well read by those who have any interest at all in American history, especially twisted, hidden history. I invite you to take a look and if so inclined, give her book a read!—N. Diaz
"But her work goes beyond mere historical reference..."
Frank Little’s great-grand-niece has explained every known detail of the great union organizer’s life. One hundred twenty-five pages of careful notations testify to her ability as a historian of the first rank, but she also reveals family records hidden for a century. She has written not only the best biography of Frank Little possible, but she also put the events of his life and times in context so that a reader can, from this one book, draw the important lessons of the missing chapters, 1905-1919, of American history." —Gene Lantz, People's World Review, July 20, 2017
"Best of the West" first runner-up for Law and Order Western Book!