American western history has garnered a lot of curious minds. The legendary rangers and infamous figures of this period have every history buff interested in exploring the Wild, Wild West. Below are books of both fiction and nonfiction to take you on an adventure back to the time of cowboys, rangers, Indians, and outlaws.
Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides
Hampton Sides’ Blood and Thunder holds historical accounts of the American conquest of the West. The book starts during the summer of 1846 when the Army of the West was en route to Western areas to invade and occupy. The new ideology of Manifest Destiny fuels this army. This invasion of territory would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States of America and the Navajos. The Navajos are resistant rulers known to be fierce with a vast swath of mountainous desert wilderness. This historical piece centers all of it all in Kit Carson. A man who is a trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a known figure. Sides presents in the book that despite being an illiterate mountain man, he is respected by the Western tribe.
Angels and Mysteries by Irv Lampman
Angels and Mysteries and Incredible Happenings in the Wild West is a retelling of all the extraordinary events in the Old West. All these incredible occurrences defy any man’s ability to understand and explain them. And the only valid explanation is angel interventions. All mysteries and tales told in the book are divulged by a lady born during the time of infamous and famous figures, such as Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. One mysterious case mentioned is of Jose Garcia. Any grievous mistake made by men at that time was justified as the angel intervened. The angels and incredible happenings that abound in the book are said to be true.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Larry Mcmurty released lonesome Dove in 2010. This is a classic American story of the American West. The story follows two aging Texas Rangers who embark on one last adventure. Captain Woodrow F. Call and Captain Augustus McCrae are two famous retired rangers. They go on an adventure of driving a cattle herd from Texas to Montana. They met plenty of unforgettable assortment of heroes, outlaws, ladies, Indians, and settlers. This book is set in the closing years of the Old West. It explores varied themes, such as old age, death, unrequited love, and friendship. Lonesome Dove is about the characters, their lives, their hopes, their dreams, and their relationship with each other.
Journal of the Gun Years by Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson’s fiction novel entitled Journal of the Gun Years is one of the Wild West’s two great works. This is a story about Clay Halser, who killed a man in self-defense after surviving the Civil War. He escaped hanging by heading to the West. Halser became a crack shot to survive on the wild frontier of 1867. He became a callow youth in search of excitement, traveling town after town in the raucous frontier. He later was marked as a gunfighter to be reckoned with his steady nerve and ready trigger finger. Soon, he finds out that there will always be someone who will want to meet a legend in a face-to-face situation and gun-to-gun. This man alone, locked in a desperate struggle against the great forces more significant than himself. He is an outlaw and a lawman who carved out a legendary career. However, fame will always prove to be the number one enemy.
Appaloosa by Robert Parker
Appaloosa is a fiction novel by Robert Parker set in the Wild West. The story centers on Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. When the duo arrived in Appaloosa, they found the town suffering at the hands of a renegade rancher named Randall Bragg. Bragg is a man who cares little about the law and his misdeeds. He left the city marshal and one of his deputies dead. Furthermore, he took people’s supplies, horses, and women for his own. Cole and Hitch, being itinerant lawmen, are used to cleaning up after opportunistic thieves. However, in Bragg, they find an unusually wily adversary. He raises the stakes by playing not only with the law but also with emotion. Appaloosa is the first book in the Hitch and Cole series.