political hell-raiser

While not a household name, Burton K. Wheeler may have been the most powerful politician Montana ever produced, and he was one of the most influential and controversial members of the United States senate.   A New Deal Democrat and lifelong opponent of concentrated power, he consistently acted with a righteous personal and political independence that has all but disappeared from the public sphere. 

While not a household name, Burton K. Wheeler may have been the most powerful politician Montana ever produced, and he was one of the most influential and controversial members of the United States senate.   A New Deal Democrat and lifelong opponent of concentrated power, he consistently acted with a righteous personal and political independence that has all but disappeared from the public sphere. 

National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

Writer Marc Johnson's new book, “Political Hell-Raiser: The Life and Times of Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana,” paints a picture of an irascible politician who supported FDR but was staunchly against intervening in WWII, until December 7, 1941. He was a pro-labor advocate who took on Montana's copper barons and was talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 1940. Johnson joins Idaho Matters to tell the story of the man who called himself "The Yankee from the West."