The “Montana set” of two nonfiction books and a novel by Kevin S. Giles

One Woman Against War, a biography by Kevin S. Giles

One Woman Against War: The Jeannette Rankin Story, traces the life and times of America’s first congresswoman from the campaigns for woman suffrage to the famous Jeannette Rankin Brigade protest at the US Capitol during the Vietnam War.

 

One Woman Against War: The Jeannette Rankin Story

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She was the lonely dissenter, committed to following the dictates of her conscience no matter the consequences. Jeannette Rankin, an early leader for woman suffrage and the first woman elected to Congress, crusaded for peace her entire life. “Killing more people won’t help matters,” she said.

The Montana native was an American icon of extremes in politics, applauded as a beacon of hope by many people and vilified as a traitor by others. Jeannette Rankin left a rich legacy of pacifism, actively opposing war and the economic influences behind it.

¶ “Kevin Giles’ new biography of Jeannette Rankin is the most comprehensive of all biographies written about her. Giles’ research is astonishing, his journalist’s style keeps the fascinating, heartbreaking and inspiring story moving at the pace of a work of great fiction.” Jeanmarie (Simpson) Bishop, writer and actor

 


Summer of the Black Chevy tells the story of Paul Morrison and his older friend, Louie Moretti.

Summer of the Black Chevy tells the story of Paul Morrison and his older friend, Louie Moretti.

 

Summer of the Black Chevy

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It’s 1965 in Deer Lodge, Montana. Paul Morrison launches his first teenage summer at a school dance, longing for girls and the smack of baseballs. His innocence ends quickly when a roaring black Chevy chases him into the dark, but it’s the mysterious stranger driving it who scares him more. Several worries unfold as the summer stretches on. Paul learns that misfortune knows no boundaries. In Summer of the Black Chevy, author Kevin S. Giles reflects on how fleeting youth can change in a heartbeat. He paints an image of a small town that can’t contain a young boy’s wonder — and his regret and guilt.

¶ “I have finished ‘Summer of the Black Chevy.’ You write about the town I remember. The names have changed, but I know them. I laughed, cried and just enjoyed reading this remarkable book.” Katheryn Brazill, Arlee, Montana

 


Jerry's Riot: The True Story of Montana's 1959 Prison Disturbance

Jerry’s Riot tells the story of career prisoner Jerry Myles, who clashed with reform warden Floyd Powell at Montana State Prison. The nonfiction prison memoir receives 5 stars from readers.

 

Jerry’s Riot: The True Story of Montana’s 1959 Prison Disturbance

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Jerry’s Riot, the 445-page book written by Montana native Kevin S. Giles, is the inside story of a disturbing riot during an era of extensive prison violence in America. This true crime book examines in revealing detail the explosion that resulted in Deer Lodge, Montana, when former Alcatraz Island convict Jerry Myles collided with reform warden Floyd Powell.

Jerry’s Riot takes the reader inside the prison walls to visit the lives of guards and prisoners who experienced the riot. The book contains the only reconstruction of the event from beginning to end. The story draws extensively from federal and state records and the author’s interviews with hostages, prisoners and others.

“You can read (or watch) Shawshank Redemption forty times and learn less of real prison life in the era than in a chapter of this book.” Laura James, true crime reviewer.

 


¶ Want to buy a book? One click takes you to the fastest way to order:

Take me to your new Jeannette Rankin biography, One Woman Against War.

Take me to your novel about growing up in Montana, Summer of the Black Chevy.

Take me to your acclaimed true crime book, Jerry’s Riot: The True Story of Montana’s 1959 Prison Disturbance.

 


Kevin S. Giles, author of a trilogy of Montana books.

Kevin S. Giles, author of a trilogy of Montana books.

 

About the author:

Kevin S. Giles grew up in western Montana. He has worked as a reporter, editor and designer for six daily newspapers in the United States and Australia. In addition to his writing, Kevin has edited and designed numerous books.

He cherishes any moment spent in Montana’s soulful mountains, well-composed photography, grandkids with ice cream, conversations over Merlot, riding a train, recalling memories of childhood innocence, strumming a well-tuned guitar and reading good literature. He lives and works in Minnesota. Write him: kevin at kevinsgiles dot com.

Recent Posts

Interview with the Montana native who wrote three books about his home state

Kevin S. Giles, Author

Kevin S. Giles: “A career in journalism is equivalent to a PhD in life. I can’t think of another profession where we amass so much insight about the world around us. I’ve put these experiences to work in my writing of books.”

You’ve published a biography of Jeannette Rankin. Who was she?

¶ History knows her as the first woman elected to Congress. She went to the US House of Representatives in 1916. She was a fierce suffragist, led Montana to approving suffrage in 1914, and rode that momentum to Congress. At that time only 10 states had given women the right to vote. Once Montanans elected Rankin, national suffragists saw her as the voice in Congress who would achieve a federal suffrage amendment.

Did that work out?

¶ Unfortunately for the suffragists, no. World War I got in the way. But even as Congress preoccupied itself with war legislation, Rankin led a push for the federal amendment. The House approved it but the Senate didn’t, by a narrow margin, and it wasn’t until the next Congress that the amendment got enough votes and went to the states for ratification. Some people fault Rankin for failing to secure suffrage by federal amendment in those two years she served in the House. I think the opposite.There’s substantial proof that Rankin’s success at being elected astonished many Americans, the first woman ever, and she achieved more in that term than anybody expected. During that war, Congress didn’t spend much time considering the needs of women and children. That was Rankin’s principal platform, so you can see her challenges beyond the obvious one of being the only woman in the entire male Congress.

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