Wild West



(2008, by James Donovan): Of the myriad books about George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, this is simply the best. Donovan recounts the greater campaign, the fight and post-battle consequences in a superb, thoroughly documented narrative.


Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary (2016, by Joe Jackson): The Oglala Lakota mystic Black Elk fought at the Little Bighorn, survived Wounded Knee, traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, converted to Catholicism and in his latter years openly shared his life story and extraordinary vision. Jackson captures his transcendent life in a well-rounded narrative.

The Killing of Crazy Horse (2010, by Thomas Powers): Many Wild West readers know the superficial details of Oglala Lakota war chief Crazy Horse’s demise, but nowhere is that tragic ending, not to mention the remarkable life that preceded it, better told than in this well-reasoned and -documented book, where kith and kin, Indian wars, bitter rivalries and unimagined duplicity merge in a drama powerful enough to make one cringe.

Regular Army O! Soldiering on the Western Frontier, 1865–1891 (2017, by Douglas C. McChristian): This history of the common men and culture of the Old Army is narrated by an author who has chased the story for a lifetime. The scholarship is encompassing and intense, the documentation extraordinary, the resulting work duly heralded as definitive.

American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890 (2014, by Jerome A Greene): The Wounded Knee story has had many chroniclers, but none have delivered it with such diligence and careful scrutiny as Greene, one of America’s finest military historians. His narrative is well grounded, giving both sides their full due, and leads to a wry ending that while differing from the obvious still leaves a tear.


(1948, RKO Radio Pictures): In this first installment of director John Ford’s popular cavalry trilogy, adapted from a James Warner Bellah short story, Henry Fonda plays a scarcely

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