Illuminating the Past

Trail of Silver Horseshoes book cover

As book review editor at True West magazine, I receive hundreds of books a year from the largest publishers to the first time author. Every book has a story behind the author, a provenance of origin, or muse that inspired the author to take pen to paper and share with us their story. One of the most interesting I have received recently is Jiri Cernik’s The Trail of Silver Horseshoes: Stories of the American West published by Sunstone Press of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cirnik, a Pennsylvania resident was born and raised in Jicin, Czechoslovakia, immigrating to the United States in 1967 to attend graduate school at George Washington University. A language expert, he is retired from a career in the State Department but has always had an interest in the history of the American West. He and his wife have traveled throughout the West in pursuit of the real story first hand. The result has been a series of novels and non-fiction volumes on the history of the West, including The Wild West and With a Tomahawk Against the Muskets, which Cernik published in the Czech Republic to provide “Czech readers with information they would otherwise never obtain.” Cernik’s stories of the West are fun to read, refreshing in his interpretations, and his historical notes at the end of each chapter provide the reader with context the people, places and events of each story. I know you will enjoy them as much as I did. For more information or to order a copy go to

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Stuart Rosebrook

As senior editor of True West Magazine, Stuart Rosebrook oversees all editorial covering Old West travel, firearms and books. He has a Ph.D in U.S. History from Arizona State University, and he owns a multimedia communications business, Quo Vadis Communications, based in Iowa City, Iowa.