In this lavishly illustrated volume, Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry, the American West's greatest chronicler, delivers a defining portrait of the life and legacy of the West's most legendary figure, George Armstrong Custer.
On June 25, 1876, George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked a large Lakota Cheyenne village on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory. He lost not only the battle but also his life and the lives of all his men. It was the U.S. Army's worst defeat in the long and bloody Plains Indian War. Yet with no survivors and only unreliable Indian accounts, Custer's Last Stand reached mythic proportions and achieved Custer's name immortality.
Larry McMurtry has long been fascinated by Custer and his rightful place in history, and in Custer, he examines how the Boy General, who graduated last in his class at West Point, went on to earn distinction in the Civil War and rose through the ranks. In McMurtry's hands, Custer is brought to life in all his complexity as the perpetually restless man whose complicated marriage, hunger for glory, and unwavering confidence in his abilities led him to ignore the warnings of scouts and comrades at Little Big Horn.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) assesses the short life of Gen. George Armstrong Custer and Custer's ongoing role in shaping concepts of the American West. As a seasoned Western literary icon, McMurtry cuts through the immense body of Custer literature to write an engaging, often irreverent, biography for a 21st-century audience more familiar with pop culture than detailed academic accounts of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Contemporary documentary photographs and artwork (more than 150 color images) are used to great effect for providing historic context. McMurtry produces a balanced account of Custer's controversial life and death, keeping his comments relevant, succinct, and compelling. -VERDICT Strongly recommended for public and school libraries as a masterful and insightful biography, as well as a guide to the key historical sources about Custer. This text will be appreciated by both scholars and Custer enthusiasts, even though theories about whether the general's nature was inherently heroic, psychotic, or cowardly are not discussed here at any length.-Nathan E. Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Simon & Schuster
November 05, 2012
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