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. Saving Yellowstone has won the 2023 Spur Award for Historical Nonfiction, and is one of Smithsonian Magazine‘s Top Ten Books in History for 2022.

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 AtlanticSlate, and Smithsonian Magazine.

A fellow of the Society of American Historians, I am also a regular guest on radio shows and TV documentaries about western history and popular culture.

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



It is a bar. Made of books.

Literally, my dream. @daikanyama.tsutaya

#bookstagram #booktok #bookstoresofinstagram #bookstores

After 26 hours in transit from Boston to Tokyo, this welcome from the hotel is beyond delightful.


Is anyone else here on Bluesky? It’s from the former Twitter folks, and in beta - and at the moment, it is hard to search for folks by anything other than their names.

If you’re on there, put your handle in the comments and I’ll follow you!

Fascinating and beautiful cloud action above one of the Great Lakes


So fun to see my #Fritschel fam at my #Tesoro talk today! And they didn’t even heckle me. @kyfr23 @julianafritschel @chrisfritschel @avery_fritschel @bluesparrowphotography ...

Still the best state border sign ever. #colorfulcolorado @historycolorado ...

In the words of the Gen Z guy at the front desk: “Swimming in the snow just hits different.”

#colorado #swimming 🏊🏻‍♀️🌨️