The 1890s was a tumultuous decade in American history, with economic depression, war, heated politics, and labour conflicts surrounding America's emergence as a world power. Against this chaotic background, life in the rowdy western mining town of Durango, Colorado, and the quiet agricultural hamlet of Sandwich, Illinois, seemed to be worlds apart. In A TALE OF TWO TOWNS, historian Duane Smith takes a comparative look at Durango and Sandwich in an effort to determine what life was like in these two small communities. His fascinating study, based on a close examination of papers, municipal records, and personal correspondence, offers a unique portrait of everyday life in these two towns. A TALE OF TWO TOWNS shows how small town life a century ago in these communities was quite similar, and hauntingly familiar to life in each town today.