Marc C. Johnson

Official Site of Author & Historian



Burton K. Wheeler is the most powerful politician Montana ever produced and one of the most significant members of the United States Senate during three of the most eventful decades in American history.


Extensively researched and including new archival sources this is the first full-length biography of one of the Senate’s most fascinating and controversial figures.

-Published by the University of Oklahoma Press

About the Author

Marc Johnson’s writing on politics and history has appeared in numerous regional and national publications, including the New York Times, the California Journal of Politics and Policy, Montana – The Magazine of Western History and The Blue Review, the policy journal of Boise State University. His blog and podcast on history and politics is entitled Many Things Considered.


A journalism graduate of South Dakota State University, where he was named an outstanding alumni, Johnson has chaired both the Idaho Humanities Council and the Federation of State Humanities Councils and has frequently served as a National Endowment for the Humanities site visitor. He has taught courses on politics and history at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Boise State University and the University of Arizona.


Johnson has worked as a broadcast journalist, a top aide to Idaho’s longest serving governor Cecil D. Andrus, and as a communication and crisis management consultant.


“Marc Johnson’s biography of Burton K. Wheeler rescues an important early-twentieth-century U.S. senator from obscurity. Recapturing the colorful qualities of this most independent of politicians, he expands our understanding of Wheeler’s significance and our country’s past even as he provides guidelines for thinking about our current political issues.”

Robert Dallek - author of Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963

“Marc Johnson has delivered the long-awaited life story of the national statesman who represented Montana in the U.S. Senate with ‘more than one man’s share of fights’ during the twentieth century’s transformative second quarter. At last, Burton K. Wheeler has the biography his public service deserves.”

Richard A. Baker - U.S. Senate Historian Emeritus and coauthor of The American Senate: An Insider’s History 

“This long-awaited and first extensive biography of one of America’s most effective and productive U.S. senators, the honorable maverick Burton K. Wheeler, arrives right on time. We Americans need a good and true story like this—about a determined lawyer who defended the rights of day laborers in a hard-rock mining camp out West and went on to represent his constituents as their U.S. senator to his final breath. Marc Johnson has provided that biography.”

Pat Williams - U.S. Representative from Montana, 1979–1997 

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© 2019 by Marc C. Johnson