Mark Lee Gardner
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About Mark Lee Gardner
A native of Missouri, Mark Lee Gardner is the author of Rough Riders, To Hell on a Fast Horse and Shot All to Hell, which received multiple awards, including a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. His expertise as an authority on the American West has led to appearances on PBS’s American Experience, the History Channel, AMC, the Travel Channel, and on NPR. In addition to his several books, he's written for National Geographic History, American Heritage, the Los Angeles Times, True West, and American Cowboy. He holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and lives with his family at the foot of Pikes Peak.
Author website: www.SongOfTheWest.com
Photo credit: Vance Lee Gardner
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Titles By Mark Lee Gardner
"Fast-paced and highly absorbing." —Wall Street Journal
A magisterial new history of the fierce final chapter of the "Indian Wars," told through the lives of the two most legendary and consequential American Indian leaders, who led Sioux resistance and triumphed at the Battle of Little Bighorn
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull: Their names are iconic, their significance in American history undeniable. Together, these two Lakota chiefs, one a fabled warrior and the other a revered holy man, crushed George Armstrong Custer’s vaunted Seventh Cavalry. Yet their legendary victory at the Little Big Horn has overshadowed the rest of their rich and complex lives. Now, based on years of research and drawing on a wealth of previously ignored primary sources, award-winning author Mark Lee Gardner delivers the definitive chronicle, thrillingly told, of these extraordinary Indigenous leaders.
Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were born and grew to manhood on the High Plains of the American West, in an era when vast herds of buffalo covered the earth, and when their nomadic people could move freely, following the buffalo and lording their fighting prowess over rival Indian nations. But as idyllic as this life seemed to be, neither man had known a time without whites. Fur traders and government explorers were the first to penetrate Sioux lands, but they were soon followed by a flood of white intruders: Oregon-California Trail travelers, gold seekers, railroad men, settlers, town builders—and Bluecoats. The buffalo population plummeted, disease spread by the white man decimated villages, and conflicts with the interlopers increased.
On June 25, 1876, in the valley of the Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the warriors who were inspired to follow them, fought the last stand of the Sioux, a fierce and proud nation that had ruled the Great Plains for decades. It was their greatest victory, but it was also the beginning of the end for their treasured and sacred way of life. And in the years to come, both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, defiant to the end, would meet violent—and eerily similar—fates.
An essential new addition to the canon of Indigenous American history and literature of the West, The Earth Is All That Lasts is a grand saga, both triumphant and tragic, of two fascinating and heroic leaders struggling to maintain the freedom of their people against impossible odds.
A Denver Post Bestseller
Shot All to Hell by Mark Lee Gardner recounts the thrilling life of Jesse James, Frank James, the Younger brothers, and the most famous bank robbery of all time.
Follow the Wild West’s most celebrated gang of outlaws as they step inside Northfield’s First National Bank and back out on the streets to square off with heroic citizens who risked their lives to defend justice in Minnesota.
With compelling details that chronicle the two-week chase that followed—the near misses, the fateful mistakes, and the bloody final shootout on the Watonwan River, Shot All to Hell is a galloping true tale of frontier justice from the author of To Hell on a Fast Horse: The Untold Story of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Mark Lee Gardner.
THE AWARD-WINNING, NEW DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND THE ROUGH RIDERS
"Thrilling. ... A CLASSIC." —True West
WINNER: Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award; New Mexico-Arizona Book Award; and Colorado Book Award
The now-legendary Rough Riders were a volunteer regiment recruited in 1898 to help drive the Spaniards out of Cuba. Drawn from America’s southwestern territories and led by the irrepressible Theodore Roosevelt, these men included not only cowboys and other Westerners, but also several Ivy Leaguers and clubmen, many of them friends of “TR.” Roosevelt and his men quickly came to symbolize American ruggedness, daring, and individualism. He led them to victory in the famed Battle of San Juan Hill, which made TR a national hero and cemented the Rough Riders’ iconic place in history.
Now Mark Lee Gardner synthesizes previously unknown primary accounts—private letters, diaries, and period newspaper reports from public and private archives across the country—to breathe fresh life into the Rough Riders and pay tribute to their daring feats and indomitable leader.
“So richly detailed, you can almost smell the gunsmoke and the sweat of the saddles. ”
—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers
No outlaw typifies America’s mythic Wild West more than Billy the Kid. To Hell on a Fast Horse by Mark Lee Gardner is the riveting true tale of Sheriff Pat Garrett’s thrilling, break-neck chase in pursuit of the notorious bandit. David Dary calls To Hell on a Fast Horse, “A masterpiece,” and Robert M. Utley calls it, “Superb narrative history.” This is spellbinding historical adventure at its very best, recalling James Swanson’s New York Times bestseller Manhunt—about the search for Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth—as it fills in with fascinating detail the story director Sam Peckinpah brought to the screen in his classic film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
“So richly detailed, you can almost smell the gunsmoke and the sweat of the saddles.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author
From Spur Award-winning author Mark Lee Gardner, his classic dual biography of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, detailing Garrett’s riveting chase of the notorious bandit—now updated with a new afterword covering new developments in the Billy the Kid story.
Billy the Kid—a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney—was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, NM, deputies, killed during the Kid’s brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881. After dspensing with his guards and filing through the chain securing his leg irons, The Kid danced a macabre jig on the jail’s porch before riding away on a stolen horse as terrified townspeople—and many sympathizers—watched. For new sheriff, Pat Garrett, the chase was on . . .
To Hell on a Fast Horse recreates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West’s most iconic outlaw. It is also the first “dual biography” of the Kid and Garrett, two larger-than-life figures who would not have become the stuff of legend without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark L. Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and what they would come to mean to a public enamored of a violent national past.
Mark Lee Gardner’s Spur Award–winning Shot All to Hell follows Jesse James and his notorious gang of outlaws as they plan, carry out—and ultimately bungle—the most famous bank robbery in Western history. Now fans of the James brothers and history buffs can experience the bloody true story like never before with this graphic novel adapted from the original book.
In September 1876, the James-Younger Gang forced their way into Northfield, Minnesota’s First National Bank—only to find themselves in a deadly battle against a horde of heroic citizens intent on defending their town from the Missourian marauders. Featuring stunning artwork and an exciting, faithful-to-the-novel script from Nate Olson and Gardner himself, Shot All to Hell: The Graphic Novel offers comics fans a thrilling Western adventure featuring the most famous American outlaw of all time.
“This collaboration is so eye-pleasing that readers will flip through the pages again and again. The story is told in a documentary style, with times, dates and locations adding realism to the almost tactile illustrations of the “most famous bank robbery in Western history” and the epical retreat of the James-Younger Gang into the nightmarish Big Woods of Minnesota. Oversized, hard-hitting and impressive.” —David Morrell, bestselling author of First Blood (Rambo series) and Captain America: The Chosen