Harry Orchard devoted most of his early life to lawlessness and crime on a fantasically large scale. As the hired assassin of the Western Federation of Miners, he blasted a trail of violence through the West, ending in the 1905 bomb-slaying of a former Idaho governor. Orchard's skill with dynamite and the fearful results of this talent produced some colorful pages of Americana that, up to now, have escaped the history books. This is more than just the story of Harry Orchard, however. It is also the story of the Western Federation of Miners, of William "Big Bill" Harwood, a onetime idol of American labor, and the organization of the Industrial Workers of the World by Haywood before he fled to the Soviet Union. Stewart Halbrook writes of the labor conditions that led to violence in the hardrock, first in the mines of Northern Idaho and later in the Cripple Creek region and the San Juans of Colorado. Time and again Orchard sparked new violence in the hope of winning the approval of Haywood and the other union leaders. By the time Orchard had killed twenty men or more, there was so much fear, hate, and violence in the hardrock mining towns that the Western Federation of Miners was doomed. Harry Orchard's last assignment, the dynamiting of former Governor Steunenberg of Idaho, put the Western Federation of Miners out of business. Orchard was persuaded to confess his crimes and turn state's evidence. In one of the great courtroom dramas of all times, Clarenece Darrow defended Haywood and one of the prosecutors was William E. Borah, then newly elected to the United States Senate.