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.

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100 years ago, Jeannette Rankin cast the first vote by a woman in Congress

Jeannette Rankin first day in Congress

Jeannette Rankin leaves for Congress after a welcoming ceremony at suffrage headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was expected to lead the effort for woman suffrage by federal amendment. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

Copyright 2017

In April 1917, the nation’s first congresswoman took her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives amid much fanfare. Soon, however, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany and enter World War I. Never had a woman cast a vote in Congress. For Rankin, the “war vote” held much more significance. Expectations were high that she would carry the banner for a federal amendment to the Constitution to secure women’s right to vote. Either way, she voted on the war, her decision would carry substantial political implications.

The following excerpts come from “One Woman Against War: The Jeannette Rankin Story.”

By Kevin S. Giles

The city shook with war news. President Wilson entered the joint session at 8:37 p.m. to a prolonged welcome. When the applause died, he rose to the podium and spoke of “the spirit of ruthless brutality” that war would bring. He recalled that he had, in his message to Congress on February 26, favored a foreign policy of “armed neutrality.” That was no longer practical, he said, because the German government now regarded American merchant ships as pirates. Wilson had decided that Germany’s reckless aggression would continue unless the United States raised a military to help the Allies. “We have no quarrel with the German people,” he said, “but only with their aggressive rulers.” The Prussian autocracy had filled the United States with spies, Wilson said, who had tried to persuade Mexico to turn against her northern neighbor. The United States would fight a war not only for itself but for the German people and all nations big and small. His speech, recorded as “House Document Number One” in the new Congress, argued that aggressive actions by the German government amounted to war against the United States. “We must make the world safe for democracy!” he implored to thundering ovation. Wilson warned of “many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us.”

Take me to Kevin's books: One Woman Against War, Summer of the Black Chevy, Jerry's Riot


Having imparted a request for war, the president left the Capitol at 9:11 p.m. for the White House. There, in the Cabinet Room, he sat “silent and pale” with his secretary, J.P. Tumulty, for a long time. Finally, Wilson said: “Think what it was they were applauding. My message today was a message of death for our young men. How strange it seems to applaud that.” …

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