"Justice Mark C. Dillon's book reads like a Western. Dillon masterfully sets the stage for the rise of the Montana Vigilantes by bringing alive the people who created and lived in [mining] towns. There are heroes, villains, shady characters, and more than a few politicians, businessmen, lawyers and judges. What sets Dillon's book apart from historical texts and fictional tales is that he provides legal analyses and explanations of the trials, sentences, due process and procedures of the day... and shed[s] grisly light on the details of the hangings. Dillon's unique background as an attorney and judge and his downright dogged research are what makes this complex story so engaging. The prose is clear, crisp and gets to the point... The book is satisfying because it answers contemporary nagging questions about the law regarding the vigilantes and the hangings."
Gregory Zenon, Brooklyn Barrister
“The best work on the Montana Vigilantes . . . Its careful, informative, judicial approach radiates a strong authority that will be recognized by academics and popular readers alike.”
—Paul R. Wylie, historian and author of The Irish General
"Dillon has given us a well researched and highly accessible look at a significant topic."
Carol A. O'Connor, True West Magazine
"Mark C. Dillon is a justice of the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court, and he brings a scholar's eye to the dicey question of whether the Montana vigilantes—hailed in their day as great heroes—were justified in their actions . . . Dillon has done a thorough job of assembling evidence . . . [and his] book is a worthy addition to the field of study."
—Frederick Allen, Montana The Magazine of Western History
"Mark C. Dillon’s analysis of the vigilantes of Bannack, Alder Gulch, and Helena in Montana Territory is the most detailed, insightful, and legally nuanced yet produced. . . . This book is a model for historians to follow when dealing with 19th-century criminal proceedings. Establishing historical context includes examining the laws in books as well as the law in action." —Gordon Morris Bakken, Great Plains Research