100 books like The Lance and the Shield

By Robert M. Utley,

Here are 100 books that The Lance and the Shield fans have personally recommended if you like The Lance and the Shield. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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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…


Book cover of A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn - The Last Great Battle of the American West

James Mueller Author Of Ambitious Honor: George Armstrong Custer's Life of Service and Lust for Fame

From my list on George A. Custer and the Little Bighorn.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, the Little Bighorn fascinates me because it has all the elements of a great story: larger-than-life characters, conflict, fighting against the odds, and mystery. I turned that fascination into research when I left newspapering to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Texas. I wrote a number of articles about press coverage of Custer and the Last Stand, and this research eventually led to two books, most recently a biography of Custer focusing on his artistic personality, especially his writing career. I’ve continued to explore the history of war reporting, always looking for topics that make good stories.

James' book list on George A. Custer and the Little Bighorn

James Mueller Why did James love this book?

James Donovan combined impeccable research with an engaging style to produce the best book about the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The battle is the subject of more books than just about any other fight in American history, but Donovan’s has set a new standard. I referred to the book regularly while writing my biography of Custer. You can’t really begin to understand a complex battle like the Little Bighorn without a seasoned guide. But Donovan doesn’t just explain the battle. He writes in a way that gives his book the feel of a novel rather than a dry recitation of facts. A Terrible Glory will take you on an exciting ride and teach you everything you need to know about Custer’s Last Stand.

By James Donovan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Terrible Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June of 1876, on a hill above a river called the Little Bighorn, George Armstrong Custer and all 210 men under his direct command were annihilated by 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne. The news of this stunning defeat caused an uproar, and those involved promptly began to point fingers in order to avoid responsibility. Custer, who was conveniently dead, took the brunt of the blame. The truth, however was far more complex. A TERRIBLE GLORY is the first book to tell the entire story of this fascinating battle, and the first to call upon new findings of the last 25…


Book cover of Autumn of the Black Snake: George Washington, Mad Anthony Wayne, and the Invasion That Opened the West

Peter Cozzens Author Of Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation

From my list on the American Indian Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State and, more to the point for the purpose of the topic at hand, the author or editor of eighteen books on the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Among them is the bestselling, multiple award-winning The Earth is Weeping: The Indian Wars for the American West.

Peter's book list on the American Indian Wars

Peter Cozzens Why did Peter love this book?

The bloodiest and most decisive Indian wars occurred not in the American West but in the Ohio Valley shortly after the United States gained its independence. The little known struggles with the formidable tribes of the Midwest opened the way for westward expansion. Autumn of the Black Snake is a scrupulously balanced account of what is sometimes called President George Washington’s Indian War, enhanced with an intriguing recounting of the often dirty policies behind the creation of the United States Army. Author William Hogeland also offers engaging portraits of towering but largely forgotten Indian leaders such as Little Turtle and Blue Jacket and their peoples. Read this book before turning to the Indian Wars in the West.

By William Hogeland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Autumn of the Black Snake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

William Hogeland's Autumn of the Black Snake presents forgotten story of how the U.S. Army was created to fight a crucial Indian war.

When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the newly independent United States savored its victory and hoped for a great future. And yet the republic soon found itself losing an escalating military conflict on its borderlands. In 1791, years of skirmishes, raids, and quagmire climaxed in the grisly defeat of American militiamen by a brilliantly organized confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians. With nearly one thousand U.S. casualties, this was the worst defeat the nation would…


Book cover of On the Border with Crook

Peter Cozzens Author Of Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation

From my list on the American Indian Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State and, more to the point for the purpose of the topic at hand, the author or editor of eighteen books on the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Among them is the bestselling, multiple award-winning The Earth is Weeping: The Indian Wars for the American West.

Peter's book list on the American Indian Wars

Peter Cozzens Why did Peter love this book?

Drawn from a 128-volume diary that Capt. John G. Bourke during his long service in the American West, On the Border with Crook is the finest first-person account of the Indian Wars for the American West written by an army participant. A highly literate and dispassionate observer, Bourke served as aide to General George Crook, himself a towering figure in the conflicts. Like his commander, Bourke was sympathetic to the native peoples and their plight. Bourke’s service took him from the desert Southwest to the Northern Plains, giving his recollections an inclusiveness that no other offers.

By John G. Bourke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Border with Crook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From 1870 until 1886 Captain John O. Bourke served on the staff of General George Crook, who Sherman described as the greatest Indian fighter the army ever had, a man whose prowess was demon-strated "from British America to Mexico, from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean." But On the Border with Crook is far more than a first-hand account of Crook's campaigns during the Plains Indian wars and in the Southwest. Alert, curious, and perceptive, Bourke brings to life the whole frontier scene. In crisp descriptions and telling anecdotes he recreates the events and landscapes through which he moved;…


Book cover of Massacre in Minnesota: The Dakota War of 1862, the Most Violent Ethnic Conflict in American History

Colin Mustful Author Of Resisting Removal: The Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850

From my list on Minnesota’s Native American history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was attending graduate school in Mankato, Minnesota when I first discovered that 38 Dakota men were hanged there on December 26, 1862. I was shocked to find out that the largest simultaneous mass execution in United States history happened right where I lived and I knew nothing about it. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to learning, understanding, and sharing the history of the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862. Over the years, I’ve discovered not just the history, but the legacy of that history for us today. Someday, I hope we all come to understand, and eventually break down, that legacy.  

Colin's book list on Minnesota’s Native American history

Colin Mustful Why did Colin love this book?

Gary Clayton Anderson is one of the foremost authorities on the complex and complicated history of the U.S. – Dakota War. In his latest book, Massacre in Minnesota, Anderson relies on his knowledge of the conflict and his skill as a historian to create an objective, thorough look at Minnesota’s watershed historical event. Anderson, who’s been writing about the U.S. – Dakota War and its participants since the 1980s, guides readers through the events with expert explanations and a multitude of perspectives. He also shows growth and maturity by revising his language and viewpoint to fit the understanding of contemporary scholarship. Massacre in Minnesota is an easy-to-follow, comprehensive look at a tragedy we’re still trying so hard to understand.    

By Gary Clayton Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In August 1862 the worst massacre in U.S. history unfolded on the Minnesota prairie, launching what has come to be known as the Dakota War, the most violent ethnic conflict ever to roil the nation. When it was over, between six and seven hundred white settlers had been murdered in their homes, and thirty to forty thousand had fled the frontier of Minnesota. But the devastation was not all on one side. More than five hundred Indians, many of them women and children, perished in the aftermath of the conflict; and thirty-eight Dakota warriors were executed on one gallows, the…


Book cover of Hanta Yo

Marian Jasper Author Of For All Time

From my list on catapulting history back to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having edited 5 newspapers in North London a few years ago, I found that my love of reading–especially historical novels–expanded to writing once my business was sold to a well-known newspaper publishing company. All history fascinates me, as is obvious from my recommendations, and even though these could be listed as fiction, they all have a great deal of fact within them. I delved into historical reading as a very young girl and progressed from the Georgette Heyer novels to my current more in-depth novelists, so my range has been quite vast and varied over the years. I truly wish I had more time to read. 

Marian's book list on catapulting history back to life

Marian Jasper Why did Marian love this book?

I cannot remember how this book came into my possession. I have always been interested in various ethnic origins, and once I began reading this remarkable book, it was difficult to put down. It follows a small Sioux tribe from 1750 to 1834 when the tribe resisted the influence of the white man.

The book's name translates to "Clear the Way," and it certainly was true to its meaning, as it took all my powers of concentration to "clear the way" and understand the depths that the author Ruth Beebe Hill must have gone to in her research to make this book acceptable to interested readers.

It gives an in-depth understanding of the culture of these proud but violent people and, sadly, how some finally succumbed to the influences that they had so long fought against.   

By Ruth Beebe Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Partially based on fact, this multi-generational saga follows the lives of two Indian families, members of the Mahto band of the Teton Sioux, before the arrival of the white man


Book cover of Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn

D'Arcy Jenish Author Of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

From my list on the exploraton of the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, the author of 10 works of popular history, and, latterly, a playwright. For nearly 25 years, I have earned a living on the strength of my own writing. I have written one full-length play that was produced at an outdoor summer theatre in July 2023, and I have written three short plays for the Port Hope, Ontario Arts Festival. I now live in Peterborough, Ontario, about 90 miles northeast of Toronto, but have had a lifelong interest in the history of western North America by dint of having grown up in southeastern Saskatchewan and having worked as a journalist in Alberta in the early 1980s.  

D'Arcy's book list on the exploraton of the West

D'Arcy Jenish Why did D'Arcy love this book?

I loved this book enough to read it twice. In fact, felt compelled to read it twice because of Connell’s amazing portrayal of Custer and dozens of other figures, both American and Native American, both well-known and obscure.

The battle of the Little Bighorn lasted only a few hours but had an amazing impact, and Connell tells the story with remarkable originality.     

By Evan S. Connell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Son of the Morning Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a scorching June Sunday in 1876, thousands of Indian warriors - Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho - converged on a grassy ridge above the valley of Montana's Little Bighorn River. On the ridge five companies of United States cavalry - 262 soldiers, comprising officers and troopers - fought desperately but hopelessly. When the guns fell silent, no soldier - including their commanding officer, Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer - had survived. Custer's Last Stand is among the most enduring events in American history - 130 years after the fact, books continue to be written and people continue to argue…


Book cover of Lakota Dreaming

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of Tall, Dark, and Cherokee

From my list on Native American romantic suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong history lover. I was the kid who hung around the feet of the elders, listening to their stories and learning about the past. That led to a deep interest in tracing family history, which has been a passion since about the age of ten. I still can get lost for hours finding ancestors or reading about their lives. That interest led me to a double major in college and I earned a Bachelor of Arts in both history and English with a two-year degree in journalism. I live a short distance from Oklahoma and one of my favorite pastimes is to go to powwows whenever possible.

Lee's book list on Native American romantic suspense

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Why did Lee love this book?

This book blends the past with the present and takes the heroine Zora Hughes from New York City to South Dakota where she and John Iron Hawk. The story combines history with mystery and romance with suspense in an engaging way that kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.

By Constance Gillam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Her visions brought her here. Her heart tells her to stay. But someone dangerous wants her gone…

Zora Hughes is haunted by someone else’s past. Plagued by dreams of her ancestor fleeing captivity, the former NYC fashion editor travels to South Dakota to uncover the truth. And until she can put her visions to rest, she won’t let anyone stand in her way… not even the handsome captain of the local tribal police.

John Iron Hawk is on a mission to clean up his reservation. Trying to raise a teenage daughter on his own while working to expose a corrupt…


Book cover of Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars

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?

I was delighted to discover this compilation of personal accounts by enlisted men who’d served in the U.S. Army during the settling of the American West. Though the educated class of officers left extensive documentation of their lives on the frontier, the mostly illiterate rank and file were unable to chronicle their experiences. Rickey filled this void in the early sixties by interviewing over three hundred troopers, both black and white, who were still alive at that time.

The wealth of detail they supplied was invaluable to me in creating both Cathy’s voice and the world she passed as a man in.

By Don Rickey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The enlisted men in the United States Army during the Indian Wars (1866-91) need no longer be mere shadows behind their historically well-documented commanding officers.

As member of the regular army, these men formed an important segment of our usually slighted national military continuum and, through their labors, combats, and endurance, created the framework of law and order within which settlement and development become possible. We should know more about the common soldier in our military past, and here he is.

The rank and file regular, then as now, was psychologically as well as physically isolated from most of his…


Book cover of Northwest Passage

Norman Gilliland Author Of Sand Mansions

From my list on dropping you into another time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and read every history of the area I could get my hands on, all the while imagining who lived there and what their lives were like. I got three degrees from the University of Florida and applied the skills learned there to Sand Mansions. The novel covers the years 1876 to 1905, a time in which a get-rich-quick frontier mentality slowly gave way to a more stable approach to community building. Sand Mansions won a prize for Best Adult Fiction from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Norman's book list on dropping you into another time and place

Norman Gilliland Why did Norman love this book?

When I was 11 years old, there was a TV show called Northwest Passage, which was an eye-opener for me because it took place at a time when the American frontier was somewhere in New York State. At the end of each episode the image of a book appeared, and I pestered my parents to get me a copy. A few days before my birthday, I caught sight of the book in a bag on my dad’s dresser. I was thrilled. I loved the adventures of Rogers’ Rangers as they fought their way through an endless forest during the French and Indian War and searched for the fabled shortcut to the Orient. In school, my book report on Northwest Passage was so long and enthusiastic that the teacher called time on me.

By Kenneth Roberts,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Northwest Passage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic novel follows the career of Major Rogers, whose incredible exploits during the French and Indian Wars are told through Langdon Towne, an artist and Harvard student who flees trouble to join the army.


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