11 Wonderful Westerns That Make History Come Alive

If you love tales of the great outdoors and stories of rough-and-tumble folks living in a harsh environment without the conveniences of the modern world, you're probably already a fan of westerns. If you're looking for some new adventures featuring ranchers, outlaws, and lawmen to add to your collection, check out these eleven wonderful books that make America's frontier come alive. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

11 Wonderful Westerns That Make History Come Alive

Title Author
1. The Last Decision Victoria Wilcox
2. The Whip Karen Kondazian
3. The Son Philipp Meyer
4. Little Century Anna Keesey
5. Wide Open Larry Bjornson
6. The Removes Tatjana Soli
7. Noose Eric Red
8. A Sidekick's Tale Elisabeth Grace Foley
9. The Bones of Paradise Jonis Agee
10. The Widow Nash Jamie Harrison
11. Chief of Thieves Steven W. Kohlhagen

Bring a Touch of the Wild West Into Your Life

There are plenty of small ways that you can unleash your inner cowboy every day. Here are a few ideas:

8 Great Western Films

  1. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  2. Django Unchained (2012)
  3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
  4. True Grit (2010)
  5. High Noon (1952)
  6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  7. Stagecoach (1939)
  8. Bone Tomahawk (2015)

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In Depth

Novels set in late 19th century America often focus on the theme of lawlessness and emphasize the harsh living conditions of the Wild West. With countless outlaws roaming the frontier, there's no shortage of action in these stories, and with all of the legendary tales and historical figures from that time period, authors will never run out of interesting content to draw inspiration from. With that in mind, here are eleven wonderful westerns that make history come alive, listed in no particular order.

First up, at #1, we have "The Last Decision." Written by Victoria Wilcox, it's the gripping conclusion to her "Southern Son" trilogy, which is a fictionalized take on the life and adventures of dentist John Henry Holliday. The story follows Doc Holliday as he travels to the town of Tombstone, where he becomes involved in the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. It also covers the events leading up to his death, when he eventually succumbed to tuberculosis.

Next, at #2, is "The Whip" by Karen Kondazian. After being abandoned and left at an orphanage, Charlotte Parkhurst is abused and forced to work at a stable. Upon leaving the orphanage, she falls in love and has a child with an African American man. When a tragic event claims the lives of her family, Charlotte disguises herself as a male stagecoach driver and moves to California to track down the killer.

Upon leaving the orphanage, she falls in love and has a child with an African American man.

At #3 is "The Son" by Philipp Meyer. In 1849, Eli McCullough's homestead is attacked by a group of Comanche raiders, killing his family and taking him captive. Over time, he becomes a part of the tribe that captured him. He eventually grows up to become a Texas Ranger, a Confederate colonel, and a renowned oil tycoon. The story covers three different generations of the powerful McCullough family and the struggles that they had to endure amidst all the conflict in the West and the booming oil industry.

Next up, at #4, we have "Little Century" by Anna Keesey. After the death of her mother, Esther Chambers travels to the town of Century, Oregon. There, she lives with her distant cousin, cattle rancher Ferris Pickett. She's told that if she can live in the tiny cabin close to the lake near Ferris' farm for five years, she can claim the property as her own. Esther soon realizes that there's an ongoing conflict between the town's cattle ranchers and sheepherders, and now she's forced to choose a side as the violence begins to ramp up.

Next, at #5, is "Wide Open" by Larry Bjornson. Set in Abilene, Kansas during the late 19th century, where legendary gunman Wild Bill Hickok serves as a marshal, the novel mainly revolves around the conflict between the town's ranchers and immigrant settlers. The story focuses on Will Merritt, a teenager who gets involved in Abilene's struggles after falling in love with a girl named Anna. His life takes a drastic turn when his family falls from grace after his father unveils a secret that could change their community forever.

His life takes a drastic turn when his family falls from grace after his father unveils a secret that could change their community forever.

At #6 is "The Removes" by Tatjana Soli. When Anne Cummins' homestead is raided by the Cheyenne, she gets captured and watches as her entire family is slaughtered. Elsewhere on the frontier, Libbie, the wife of George Custer, struggles to adjust to life on the plains as she follows her husband around during his military campaigns. The two women's stories intertwine when Anne is rescued by Custer's forces.

Next up, at #7, we have "Noose" by Eric Red. Joe Noose is an honorable bounty hunter who's being framed for the murder of a U.S. marshal. Working alone, Noose has to outsmart and outgun twelve ruthless killers who are after the bounty that they helped place on his head. Along the way, he has to prove his innocence to the deputy, who happens to be the dead marshal's daughter.

At #8 is "A Sidekick's Tale" by Elisabeth Grace Foley. Meredith Fayett has to get married before the end of the week or else she'll lose her ranch. Desperate to find a husband, she turns to ranch hand Chance Stevens, who accepts her offer despite his friend Marty's warnings. Told through the eyes of Marty, the story focuses on his strange relatives and how their unexpected arrival reignites a long-running family feud that complicates Meredith and Chance's plan to marry.

Meredith Fayett has to get married before the end of the week or else she'll lose her ranch.

Next, at #9, is "The Bones of Paradise" by Jonis Agee. A decade after the Wounded Knee Massacre, rancher J.B. Bennett finds the lifeless body of a Native American woman named Star on his land. Shortly after his discovery, he's murdered by an unknown assailant. Now, his estranged wife Dulcinea and her friend, Star's sister Rose, try to figure out who the killer is, dealing with a lot of family drama along the way.

At #10 is "The Widow Nash" by Jamie Harrison. When her eccentric father misplaces a large amount of money and commits suicide, Dulcy Remfrey's ex-fiance Victor asks her to come home to figure out what happened to their missing wealth. Afraid of being forced to marry her abusive ex, she chooses to fake her death and settle down in Montana, where she claims that she's a rich widow named Mrs. Nash.

Finally, at #11, we have "Chief of Thieves" by Steven W. Kohlhagen. In 1863, two con artists, Gus and Lily Smoot, are on the run after stealing thousands of dollars that they plan on using to build a ranch in Washington Territory. Unfortunately for them, several obstacles stand in the way of their goals, such as their inexperience with ranching and a bounty hunter who's relentlessly pursuing them.