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Western History Classics

New Project Brings Back Great Old Montana Books

Western History Classics covers

The Montana Historical Society has teamed up with scholars and the private sector to breathe new life into some important books about Montana that have been out of print, and in some cases nearly forgotten, for years.

“All of the books in this series have been selected with great care for their readability and power to illuminate some aspect of the region’s rich literary and cultural heritage,” former Society Press Editor Martha Kohl said.

The “Western History Classics” series is a partnership between the Montana Historical Society Press and Riverbend Publishing of Helena. Initial plans call for republishing five books.

The first three books in the series are Up on the Rim by Dale Eunson, who writes about growing up on a homestead near Billings, Tenting To-Night by Mary Roberts Rinehart, who writes about an early camping trip into Glacier National Park, and Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park by James Willard Schultz, a writer who married into the Blackfeet tribe in the nineteenth century. All three books are now on sale at local bookstores or by calling 1-800-243-9900.

“The subjects in the series will range widely across time and place to capture a rich variety of western experiences: from the natural wonders of the national parks to the artificial confines of Indian reservations, from thriving mining towns to isolated homesteads,” Kohl said. Forthcoming titles include The Story of Mary MacLane, the provocative turn-of-the-century best-seller by Butte native Mary MacLane, and C. B. Glasscock’s War of the Copper Kings , a dramatic account of the fight to control Butte and the Richest Hill on Earth.

The first books in the series were nominated and selected based on recommendations from Montana’s top history and literature scholars.

Chris Cauble, head of Riverbend Publishing, said that he has set up a website in conjunction with the Society for interested persons to nominate Montana books they would like to see re-published. The email address for nominations is whcnominations@riverbendpublishing.com.

“If things go well, we hope to add two to four books a year in the series in the future,” Cauble said. “The series can evolve, and we could move in other directions as well. There are many books that should be saved that are important for the readers of today.”

“We expect readers will find some surprises within these volumes, which include both exemplary tellings of well-known stories and fresh perspectives that challenge commonly held notions of our history,” Kohl said.

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