My Plunder: Westerners and Warriors is a memoir by Myles Culbertson. It consists of 8 vignettes that chronicle the people and lore of his family’s ranch in New Mexico. The short, factual snippets span the entire 20th century and end in 2007, each piece contributing a layer to compile a detailed history. The last (most recent) is written by his son-in-law, sharing how he embraced the family traditions of the ranch. Photographs of the people represented, and thoughtful western art by Mike Capron help bring the story of generations of a family of modern cowboys, their friends, loved ones, and—of course—horses, to life for readers as they get to see this rugged American lifestyle in operation over the years.
Myles Culbertson’s fascinating glimpse into ranch life in the 20th century is unmatched by anything I’ve read before. It was amazing for me to follow the stories of a horse with a legendary attitude, a father determined to vote even with cracked ribs, a selfless colonel who was a general at heart, a tiny forgotten town livened by adventure when cowboys visited, and a young Marine getting his first experience as a real cowboy branding cattle amid gorgeous scenery. From the vintage era through the Vietnam War to the present day, My Plunder: Westerners and Warriors is a nostalgic collection that is grounded and rooted in the unchanging personality of the people who work with cattle and horses and their harsh, yet deeply beautiful environment. This one-of-a-kind book is something I’m delighted to have read and I would recommend it to anyone.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.