I recently finished reading George Black’s book “Empire of Shadows: the Epic Story of Yellowstone.”
This is a great book and if you are at all curious about the events that led to the creation of our first National Park then this is a must read.
Don’t let the 428 pages or the fact that it’s history scare you away. Mr. Black has taken the lives and stories of all the major people involved, as well as a great many minor people, and weaved them into one of the rare true stories that is better than fiction.
I was surprised the depth that Mr. Black went to while telling the story leading up to the Park. I had expected most of the book to cover events that took place inside of Yellowstone. But that is was not the case.
However, the paths were always flowing either to or from Yellowstone for all the people involved from Lewis and Clark, John Colter, and Jim Bridger through Langford and Doane.
I appreciated that he did not try to condemn or justify the actions of any of the men. He let their actions stand with all complexities, contradictions, and motives in place. It didn’t matter if they were committing atrocities against the Native Americans, chasing personal glory, or trying to protect great natural wonders. He let them be themselves, men of their time, and human.
The final little thing that I loved about this book was that it came with a small map that was great for a book mark and a handy reference. I wish more historical books had something like that.
If you want to give this book a spin, feel free to pick it up from Amazon.com Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone. (We are an amazon affiliate so also feel free to check out our affiliate disclaimer)