One of the most interesting aspects of McDonald's book is that for decades, as she writes, "during the McCarthy years in the 1950's and the Cold War, the people of northeastern Montana tried to forget their brush with notoriety."
McDonald, who graduated from Plentywood High School, "without having heard of the Sheridan County Communists" and knowing that her relative had been a leader of the radicals.
In his review of The Red Corner, Montana historian Donald Spritzer notes that once the New Deal relief efforts of Franklin Roosevelt brought benefits to Sheridan County - the WPA built a courthouse in Plentywood, for example - the county's Communists faded from significance and the locals seemed more than happy to have the history disappear, as well.
"Today residents are not particularly proud of what occurred in that bygone era," Spritzer said. "But they are no longer so ashamed that they seek to hide it from their schoolchildren."
Montana native Ivan Doig, whose splendid book Bucking the Sun, is set in northeastern Montana in the 1930's gets the last word on the radicals of Sheridan County.
"When there was enough rain," Doig wrote in his story about the Montanans who built Fort Peck Dam, "the soil of the northeastern corner of Montana grew hard red wheat. When drought came, politics of that same colorization sprouted instead."
Harry Truman said,“The only thing new in this world is the history that you don't know” How true.
McDonald's book tells a great story that has been long forgetten; a rich history of the rural American west and one area's flirtation with - truth stranger than fiction -Communism.