Photo by Sharona Jacobs

Hi there! I’m Megan Kate Nelson, a writer, historian, road cyclist, and cocktail enthusiast.

I am the author of The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner, 2020), which was a Finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History.

My new book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America was published by Scribner on March 1, 2022, the 150th anniversary of the Yellowstone Act, which created the first national park in the world.

I am an expert in the history of the American Civil War, the U.S. West, and popular culture, and have written articles about these topics for The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, The AtlanticSmithsonian MagazinePreservation Magazine, and Civil War Times.

My column on Civil War popular culture, “Stereoscope,” appears regularly in the Civil War Monitor. This past year, I was also elected as a fellow of the Society of American Historians. I am also a regular guest on the Dave Nemo Weekend Show on the Sirius XM channel Road Dog Trucking (channel 146), talking with host Jimmy Mac about “the Western of the Month.”

Before leaving academia to write full-time in 2014, I taught U.S. history and American Studies at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown. I earned my BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and my PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa.


Contact: mkn at

To schedule events or secure a review copy, please contact my publicist: Abby Novak, at abigail.novak at



Driving very fast on the FDR ...

If you are still looking for a #fathersday gift for your #history nerd Dad, and you want to send him a copy of “Saving Yellowstone” - DM me! I can send him a signed bookplate *and* a #Yellowstone150 sticker.

#fathersdaygifts #bookstagram #writingcommunity

This is tremendous news, and another example of how @yellowstonenps is recognizing and honoring Indigenous histories of the park during its 150th anniversary.

Doane joined Hayden's 1871 expedition midway through, when most of Hayden’s cavalry detail was called back to Bozeman after a Lakota raid.

You can read more about Doane, Major Eugene Baker, and the role Fort Ellis soldiers played in the Marias Massacre and in efforts to preserve Yellowstone, in "Saving Yellowstone"!

#nationalparks #parkhistory #bookstagram #indigenous

A Bitter Italian on the patio.

1 oz Aperol
1 oz Carpano Antica
1 oz lemon
Club soda
Bendy straw


I’ll be chatting about #SavingYellowstone on #BookBreaks hosted by @gilderlehrman this Sunday, May 29 at 2:00 pm ET. Join us!

#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookrecommendations #history #historyteacher

It was great fun to talk about #TeddyRoosevelt and the history of #conservation for @doriskgoodwin and @history’s new docuseries!

It airs on #memorialdayweekend. Check it out!