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



I love me a rushing creek. ...

Cabin view, Big Sky. May 20. #springsnow #montana ...

Back in my happy place: working at a cool indie cafe. @trunorthcafe ...

Love seeing #SavingYellowstone among these other great books about @yellowstonenps! Plus a giant bobcat.



Overlook on Highway 12, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

If 45 had gotten his way, almost all of the land behind us would have been given over to land and energy developers.

#grandstaircaseescalante #preservation #publiclands

Our first time visiting @capitolreefnps! The Waterpocket Fold is truly amazing.

#nationalparks #geology