From the author of "Common Ground" -- one of the most acclaimed books of recent years -- comes a grand narrative of the United States as it charged, full of hope and trepidation, into the twentieth century. Beginning with a murder on a snowy night in a small Idaho town, "Big Trouble" brings to life the astonishing case that ultimately engaged President Theodore Roosevelt, and the politics and passions of an entire nation at century's turn. After the state's former governor, Frank Steunenberg, is blown up by a bomb at his garden gate, America's most celebrated detective, Pinkerton James McParland, takes over the investigation. His daring plan to kidnap union leader "Big Bill" Haywood from Colorado to stand trial in Idaho sets the stage for a memorable courtroom confrontation between the flamboyant prosecutor, Senator William Borah, and the young defense attorney, Clarence Darrow. In a kind of nonfiction "Ragtime, Lukas paints a vivid portrayal of the tumultuous first decade of the 20th century. Summoning an astonishing cast of characters from all walks of life who found their way to the trial or its environs that summer -- from the popular young actress Ethel Barrymore to Teddy Roosevelt -- "Big Trouble" explodes onto the national stage, collectively outlining the shape of the American century to come.
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