Participant Info

First Name
Megan Kate
Last Name
Website URL
American Civil War history, U.S. Western history, U.S. Southwestern history, environmental studies, cultural studies, nineteenth-century American history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian and writer, with a BA from Harvard and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. I am the author of four books, including Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (Scribner 2022; winner of the 2023 Spur Award for Historical Non-Fiction) and The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020; finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History), as well as Ruin Nation (Georgia, 2012) and Trembling Earth (Georgia, 2005).

I write about the Civil War, the U.S. West, and American culture for The New York TimesWashington PostThe Atlantic, Smithsonian MagazineSlate, and TIME. I am also a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an elected member of the Society of American Historians.

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 grew up in Littleton, Colorado, and now live in Boston with my husband and two cats.

Profile photo by Sharona Jacobs.

Recent Publications


Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone Doc for Fox Has a Lot of Wrong Ideas About History,” Slate (November 22, 2022)

“What Extreme Flooding in Yellowstone Means for the National Park’s Gateway Towns,” Smithsonian Magazine (June 16, 2022)

Five Myths about Yellowstone,” Washington Post.

“How Sitting Bull’s Fight for Indigenous Land Rights Shaped the Creation of Yellowstone National Park,” Smithsonian Magazine.

“The Big Business Politics Behind the Formation of Yellowstone National Park,” TIME.

The best books about America’s National Parks,”

“1871 provides a road map for addressing the Trump attempted insurrection,” Made by History, Washington Post

“Americans Need to Know the Hard Truth about Union Monuments in the West,” The Atlantic

“Today’s Republicans are like Lincoln in Only One Way,” New York Times

“One of the 19th Century’s Most Important Documents …” Washington Post

“The latest battle over the Confederate flag isn’t happening where you’d expect,” Made by History, Washington Post

“How Historians got Nike to pull an ad campaign – in under six hours,” Washington Post (April 12, 2019)

“One of the 19th century’s most important documents was recently discovered in a New England attic. Here’s what it tells us,” Washington Post (May 22, 2018).

“Let There Be Lights,” Smithsonian Magazine (May 2018): 10-11.

“The West’s Missing War,” Civil War Monitor (Spring 2018).

“Stop Calling Me ‘Independent Scholar,’” The Chronicle Review (October 8, 2017).

“The Civil War from Apache Pass,” Journal of the Civil War Era 6, no. 4 (December 2016): 510-535.

“Forces of Nature: Adobe Forts of the Southwest,” Preservation: The Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Summer 2016): 50-54.

“What Do You Know? A Civil War Pop Quiz,” Disunion Blog, New York Times (June 4, 2015).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Art & Architectural History, Environment, Material Culture, Military