78 books like Dead Man's Walk

By Larry McMurtry,

Here are 78 books that Dead Man's Walk fans have personally recommended if you like Dead Man's Walk. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

I highly recommend this 2-volume set of books The Texan Santa Fe Expedition to anyone interested in the days of the Republic of Texas 1836-1845. The narrative written by George Wilkins Kendall, the only American on the so-called trade expedition from Round Rock, TX to Santa Fe, NM. The author was editor of the New Orleans Picayune at the time. Kendall was invited by President Lamar to travel as an observer on the Santa Fe Expedition. The caravan left Brushy Creek on June 21, 1841, consisting of 248 militia and 49 merchants. Less than one hundred men survived. Fortunately, one was Kendall who survived to write about it. His well-written narrative provided me fodder for my award-winning novel.

By George Wilkins Kendall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick: A Journal of Early Texas

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

Memoirs of Mary Maverick is a journey of early Texas written in her own hand, edited and published by her family. This extraordinary journal of Mary’s life; married to Samuel Maverick, a signor of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The word maverick originated from Samuel Maverick not branding his cows. Meaning any cow not branded was a maverick belonging to Samuel Maverick. My three great grandfather Thomas W. Smith’s family lived on the Coosa River in Alabama near the home of Mary Adams-Maverick. It was Mary’s new husband Samuel that convinced eleven members of my family to come to Texas in the early days of The Republic of Texas. 

By Mary Adams Maverick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Memoirs of Mary Maverick is a rare source of information about the history of Texas during the days of American colonization and the Republic of Texas. Replete with details and encounters with some of the biggest names in Texas history, Mrs. Mavericks’s stories reflect the personal tales of sacrifice, fear, joy, and indomitable spirit that characterized the pioneer spirit of Texas settlers. Alacrity Press is proud to make this book available to a new generation of reader’s interested in the true, unfiltered history of Texas.


Book cover of The Old Santa Fe Trail

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

First published in 1939, The Old Santa Fe Trail was written under the pen name of Stanley Vestal by college professor Walter S. Campbell. The author was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. His book is a wealth of knowledge about the 200-year-old trading route from Missouri-Westport to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The author/professor turned a textbook subject into a readable and enjoyable story. The 900-mile route would become Route 66 around the time of Campbell’s death in 1957. His stories of those that used the trail; like William Becknell, Kit Carson, and Jim Bridger kept my attention. The 27-page appendix with index and bibliography was immensely helpful in my research for my book.   

By Stanley Vestal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Old Santa Fe Trail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'What is distinctive in Vestal's account is the admirable reconstruction of the facts and feelings of the life of the trail. To read his book is to realize that life as vividly as if you had seen it in a movie...Obviously, he loves the Trail and knows it as well as one knows one's own sidewalk. His enthusiasm makes his knowledge infectious' - "New York Times". 'Anecdotal history at its best, history come to life...This is the way people lived along the trail' - "Christian Science Monitor".The Santa Fe Trail was one of the two great overland highways originating in…


Book cover of Anson Jones: The Last President of Texas

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

I highly recommend Anson Jones the Last President of Texas to anyone researching the Republic of Texas (1836-1846). Herbert Pickens Gambrell a college professor and well-known Texas historian published his Anson Jones research in 1948. From this book I learned Jones paid my ancestor James W. Smith, the first Supreme Court Justice of Travis County $50 to perform the marriage ceremony to Mary Smith in Austin. The story details how Jones behind the scenes maneuvering for Texas Annexation was almost sabotaged by Sam Houston. The story has a true but sad ending to Jones’ life. Gambrell does an excellent job of detailing the last President of Texas accomplishments.

By Herbert Gambrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anson Jones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a New Englander who came penniless to Mexican Texas in 1833 and within the next decade helped to bring his adopted country through the turbulent disorders of settlement, revolution, political experimentation, and statehood. Within a year of his arrival, Anson Jones was successfully practicing medicine, acquiring land, and resolving to avoid politics; but then the Revolution erupted and Jones became a private in the Texas Army, doubling as surgeon at San Jacinto. Military duty done, he resumed medical practice but some acts of the First Congress so irked him that he became a member of…


Book cover of The Wolf and the Buffalo

Sarah Bird Author Of Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

From my list on Buffalo Soldiers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I dreamed of being Margaret Mead. When I realized that Margaret already had that job, I turned my anthropologist’s eye for the defining details of language, dress, and customs to fiction. I love to tell the untold tales--especially about women--who are thrust into difficult, sometimes impossible, circumstances and triumph with the help of humor, friends, perseverance, and their own inspiring ingenuity. In my eleven bestselling novels, I have been able to do this well enough that I was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Prize and in 2021 was honored with the Paul Re Peace Award for Cultural Advocacy for promoting empathy through my work.

Sarah's book list on Buffalo Soldiers

Sarah Bird Why did Sarah love this book?

If you’d like to understand why Elmer Kelton was voted the greatest Western writer of all time by the Western Writers of America read The Wolf and the Buffalo. Though every word of the dozens of books he authored are saturated in the authenticity of the Texas cattleman that Kelton was, this novel holds a special place in my heart.

Published in 1980 before there was a widespread appreciation for the achievements of the Buffalo Soldiers against great odds, Kelton presents fully-realized portraits of the formerly enslaved men tasked with protecting white settlers. 

All Kelton’s writing is alive with the language of the frontier. I am grateful to the master for helping me feel the rhythm of 19th Century, Western speech. On just one page, Kelton has his characters speak of fires that they “get to goin’,” of someone departing rapidly “skinning out the door,” and of how,…

By Elmer Kelton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wolf and the Buffalo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "The Far Canyon" and "The Good Old Boys" comes this poignant story of a freed slave who goes west with the army and confronts much more than the hostilities of the Comanche and Kiowa.

The Civil War has ended and Gideon Ledbetter is feed from slavery. Like many, he has no land, no money, and no means to make a living. Gideon is drawn into the army by a recruiter who paints an alluring picture of cavalry life out in the west. The Indians called the black men "Buffalo" soldiers, as their tightly twisted hair reminded…


Book cover of Myth, Memory, and Massacre: The Pease River Capture of Cynthia Ann Parker

James E. Crisp Author Of Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett's Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution

From my list on history books written from hidden, elusive, and mysterious sources.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about bringing back to life persons from the past who have been forgotten, misunderstood, or even deliberately mischaracterized. In order to get to the truth, there are a host of myths that must be shattered or discarded. Most of the histories that I have written have done precisely this–showing the fallacy of familiar myths and discovering the hidden truths about people and events that have been distorted, often by some of the most popular literature. In order to achieve these results, I have had to spend years in “boring” archives in order to reveal people and events that are never boring.

James' book list on history books written from hidden, elusive, and mysterious sources

James E. Crisp Why did James love this book?

I’ve been hearing about Cynthia Ann Parker since I was a child growing up in the part of northern Texas once ruled by her Comanche captors–and her Comanche compatriots! Captured as a child by Comanche raiders at the Parker family’s frontier compound at the time of the Texas Revolution, Cynthia Ann fully became a Comanche. She married a warrior, Peta Nocona, and together they had a son, “Quanah Parker,” who eventually became the most famous “Indian” in America.

I was amazed by the authors’ ability to penetrate the myths surrounding Cynthia’s recapture by Texas Rangers. Speaking virtually no English, she was desperate to return with her infant daughter to her Comanche family, but both of them died in captivity, being held now as sad, unwilling captives of the Texans.

By Paul H. Carlson, Tom Crum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Myth, Memory, and Massacre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In December 1860, along a creek in northwest Texas, a group of U.S. Cavalry under Sgt. John Spangler and Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross raided a Comanche hunting camp, killed several Indians, and took three prisoners. One was the woman they would identify as Cynthia Ann Parker, taken captive from her white family as a child a quarter century before. The reports of these events had implications far and near. For Ross, they helped make a political career. For Parker, they separated her permanently and fatally from her Comanche husband and two of her children. For Texas, they became…


Book cover of Goodbye to a River: A Narrative

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From my list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Steven Faulkner Why did Steven love this book?

I heard about this book on the car radio. The speaker said John Graves was Texas’ best living writer. He was certainly Texas’ best living travel writer. Graves takes us on a canoe trip down the Brazos River in late fall through an area soon to be dammed and obliterated by the Army Corp of Engineers. Graves grew up on that river and loves it. He knows its history and details elements of that history with scenes from pioneer days, the Comanche wars, feuds, hermits, and encounters with modern citizens as Graves and his little dog, a dachshund, wind their way downriver for three weeks, camping out on gravel bars, fishing, hunting, and exploring.

His book inspired me to take my son on a 1000-mile canoe trip that I wrote about in my own book.

By John Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Goodbye to a River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1950s, a series of dams was proposed along the Brazos River in north-central Texas. For John Graves, this project meant that if the stream’s regimen was thus changed, the beautiful and sometimes brutal surrounding countryside would also change, as would the lives of the people whose rugged ancestors had eked out an existence there. Graves therefore decided to visit that stretch of the river, which he had known intimately as a youth.

Goodbye to a Riveris his account of that farewell canoe voyage. As he braves rapids and fatigue and the fickle autumn weather, he muses upon old…


Book cover of The Comanche Empire

Mark Dizon Author Of Reciprocal Mobilities: Indigeneity and Imperialism in an Eighteenth-Century Philippine Borderland

From my list on borderland mobility.

Why am I passionate about this?

The past fascinates me because it is strange and different to the world we live in today. That is why I prefer looking at earlier centuries than contemporary times because the distant past requires an extra effort on our part to unlock how people back then made sense of their world. When I read an old chronicle on how Indigenous people spent days traveling to meet acquaintances and even strangers, it piqued my interest. Did they really need to meet face-to-face? What did traveling mean to them? The books on the list below are attempts by historians to understand the travelers of the past.

Mark's book list on borderland mobility

Mark Dizon Why did Mark love this book?

The Comanche Empire turns imperial history on its head. I like how Hämäläinen puts the spotlight on Comanche Indians instead of European colonizers. Indigenous people were powerful empire builders too.

I love how the book is also a story of horses, bison and how Indigenous people harnessed the resources of their environment. Horse riding and bison hunting, as much as Indigenous adaptability, were the foundation of the Comanche Empire.

By Pekka Hamalainen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Comanche Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, at the high tide of imperial struggles in North America, an indigenous empire rose to dominate the fiercely contested lands of the American Southwest, the southern Great Plains, and northern Mexico. This powerful empire, built by the Comanche Indians, eclipsed its various European rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence. Yet, until now, the Comanche empire has gone unrecognized in historical accounts.This compelling and original book uncovers the lost story of the Comanches. It is a story that challenges the idea of indigenous peoples as victims of…


Book cover of Dances with Wolves

R. Chapman Wesley Author Of The Well

From my list on uspenseful spiritual transformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in rural central Virginia the namesake of my African-American, family physician father, Dr. Robert C. Wesley and my educator mother, Anne Louise Reynolds. Becoming a physician seemed to be my destiny, which explains attending Yale Medical School. The Well was inspired by my lifelong concern over global health threats, originally regarding the threat of nuclear weapons, and propelled me toward pandemic inquiry. It was also a way to explore fundamental questions I struggled with: At the current state of mankind’s moral and ethical development, would a miraculous discovery controlled by very few lead to universal well-being or universal tyranny? I'm honored to submit my recommendations of books that combine suspense and spirituality.

R.'s book list on uspenseful spiritual transformation

R. Chapman Wesley Why did R. love this book?

The famous movie is extremely faithful to the book, although the book adds to the richness and depth of both plot and character.

In addition to heralding the transformation of spiritual awareness through empathetic identity with the indigenous peoples of the Lakota Nation, Dances with Wolves focuses upon the power of animal spirits and the lessons embedded in observing their behavior. Despite the title, the most prominent animal spirit is the Buffalo.

By Michael Blake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dances with Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ordered to hold an abandoned army post, John Dunbar found himself alone, beyond the edge of civilization. Thievery and survival soon forced him into the Indian camp, where he began a dangerous adventure that changed his life forever. Relive the adventure and beauty of the incredible movie, DANCES WITH WOLVES.


Book cover of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Michelle Bennington Author Of Widow's Blush: A Widows & Shadows Mystery

From my list on traveling back in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an English major in college. In pursuing my love of books and language, I fell into a love of history. The passion for history began with author biographies as I tried to understand how the culture affected various authors’ writings. This is why my history strength resides in European history, because most of my favorite authors come from Europe. The more I read of the biographies, I often came across historical events I wasn’t knowledgeable about and so fell down a rabbit hole of historical research. The more I learn, the more I love history! 

Michelle's book list on traveling back in time

Michelle Bennington Why did Michelle love this book?

I cannot speak highly enough of Gwynne’s book! This book is only a few hundred pages, but he somehow manages to detail the very complex relationships between Texas, Mexico, the United States government, and the Comanche Indians while making a believable case for the Comanche being an empire in its own right.

While I’m a big history nerd, I tend to focus on European history. But lately, I’ve come to have a deeper appreciation for U.S. history. It certainly gave me a broader understanding of the Wild West, indigenous people, and the socio-political atmosphere.

The best part is that it wasn’t dry and boring, as some history books can be. It read like a novel. As a writer myself, I’m still amazed at how he managed to pack so much information inside the covers. Not a single word was wasted. That’s an impressive feat!

By S.C. Gwynne,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Empire of the Summer Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moonspans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Texas, American Indians, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Texas, American Indians, and presidential biography.

Texas Explore 204 books about Texas
American Indians Explore 215 books about American Indians
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography