Jefferson Glass’s Reshaw—The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard (High Plains Press, $19.95) offers a fascinating look at the “middle years” of American expansion, 1840 to 1876, a time when life was cheap and often violent.
Throughout Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, John Baptiste Richard, or “Reshaw,” as the French called him, traded whiskey illegally with the Indians, married Red Cloud’s cousin, and, yet, managed to emerge a legitimate businessman who understood both sides of the disputes that eventually escalated into the Indian Wars. The book is multi-generational in its scope and extremely well documented—sometimes to the point of distraction. Still, I found it a good read and highly educational.
–Bruce Bradley, author of Hugh Glass