The City That Ate Itself: Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit

The City That Ate Itself: Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit

by Brian James Leech


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948908290
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
Publication date: 01/31/2019
Series: Mining and Society Series , #1
Edition description: 1
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 387,633
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Brian James Leech is a Montana native and an assistant professor of history at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He currently serves as Secretary of the Mining History Association.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 3

Part I Mining Is Life, 1864-1954

Chapter 1 Underground 17

Chapter 2 Neighborhoods 62

Part II Working the Pit, 1955-75

Chapter 3 Protest 101

Chapter 4 Work 139

Part III Feeding the Factory, 1955-75

Chapter 5 Hazards 185

Chapter 6 Acquisition 219

Part IV The Pit Is Dead (Long Live the Pit), 1970-2017

Chapter 7 Salvation 253

Chapter 8 Reclamation 309

Conclusion 359

Bibliography 365

About the Author 395

Index 397

What People are Saying About This

Timothy J. LeCain

The City That Ate Itselfbrings together environmental history, labor history, social history, and history of technology in an entirely novel and highly compelling way. Many historians have taken on one or more of these topics in analyzing the history of Butte, yet none has brought them together as skillfully as Leech does here. Moreover, Leech’s focus on the postwar period is still fairly rare in the literature and highly valuable. The scholarship here is superb. Leech has immersed himself in both the primary and secondary material, and almost every page bristles with footnotes derived from entirely original archival research.”

Jeffrey T. Manuel

The City that Ate Itself: A Social and Environmental History of Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit is an in-depth history of Butte, Montana, that focuses on its infamous open-pit copper mine, the Berkeley Pit. Overall, the book’s scholarship is impeccable. Leech makes a persuasive case that Butte’s modern history has been dominated by the switch to open pit mining and the growing Berkeley Pit. While Butte has received a good deal of attention from social historians and historians of western mining, Leech’s focus on the modern open pit era of mining is genuinely new. Leech’s manuscript also makes outstanding use of oral history interviews as a source base. He has clearly devoted an enormous of amount of time and effort to research so many oral histories, even conducting many of them himself. The oral histories allow him to bring a fresh perspective to the social and cultural dimensions of open pit mining and community change. Other books in this field have emphasized technological changes or policy shifts, but the oral histories allow Leech to really get at the lived experience of those individuals in Butte who lived beside the growing Berkeley Pit.” 

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