1. The Lewis and Clark Journals (Abridged Edition) (Ed. by Gary Moulton; Bison Books): The Lewis and Clark voyage of discovery helped the United States understand what great challenges and opportunities lay ahead in the Trans-Mississippi West.

2. Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West (Wallace Stegner; Penguin Books): The biography of the man who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon and left his impact on the settlement of the West.

3. The Custer Myth (W.A. Graham; Stackpole Books): Although written almost 60 years ago, this book provides the great starting point toward understanding what happened at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The various editions include an important bibliography compiled by Fred Dustin.

4. Absaraka, Home of the Crows (Margaret Irvin Carrington; University of Nebraska Press): An officer’s wife, Carrington kept a journal of her stay in the outposts in the West, including her time at Fort Phil Kearny.

5. The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense (Walter Prescott Webb; University of Texas Press): This is the classic history of the men who helped tame the Texas frontier. Other books have since been written by individual Rangers or on specific aspects of the Rangers, but this book is the foundation.


—Shelly Dudley, owner of Guidon Books in Scottsdale, Arizona

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