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Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors Paperback

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Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors + Undaunted Courage:  Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West + Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1st Anchor Books trade pbk. ed edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385479662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385479660
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Military historian Ambrose examines the connections between the Indian chief and the cavalry officer who fought at Little Bighorn.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Movingly told and well written . . . a fine  contribution, one that will be read with pleasure and  admiration by general reader, student and scholar  alike. Ambrose has breathed new life into the  familiar facts."--Library  Journal

"An epic and accurate retelling  of one of our country's most tragic  periods."--Baltimore Sun

More About the Author

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his New York Times best-sellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage.He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words: "As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next." Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.

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#33 in Books > History
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Customer Reviews

A very interesting book in our history!!
nancy Riker
This was one of the best books by Ambrose that I have read, I really enjoyed it and could hardly put it down once I started reading it.
Randall L. Turner
This book is a biography of Crazy Horse and Custer.
J. McMillen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A. Freedman on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Crazy Horse and George Custer were leaders. They led by example, they led by acclamation, and they led driven by a desire to shape the future of their people. They lived their lives in parallel until the fateful day when they met on the grassy hills of the Little Big Horn. A meeting that was a significant historical mark in the final closing chapter of the free Indian nations in what is now the territory of the United States. Steven Ambrose offers again one of his masterful historical tales in a compelling read. George Custer's legend is well earned. He was a larger than life individual. Crazy Horse most likely wanted to raise a family, but the events of his day precluded a peaceful life. Ambrose captures the spirit and style of their lives while retelling the history. Forget watching the fanciful movies. This book is another creation that only Steven Ambrose could create - a history book that is as compelling a read as the best action thriller novel. ENJOY!
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Kcoruol on December 29, 1997
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen E. Ambrose really brings history to life in this book about Custer, Crazy Horse, and the culture of plains indians and American expansionism. Ambrose is able to elquantly put down on to paper both sides of the story without becoming bogged down in what is so popularly reffered to as politically correct revisionist history. After reading this book I really feel as though I have a much better understanding of both the indian side of the story which is to preserve their way of life as well as the unstoppable expansion into the west. Anyway no matter who's side you take Custer's or Crazy Horse's it's a great book and was fun to read.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Ambrose's approach of following the lives of natural leaders in different cultures. It was interesting the see how each culture, Americans in the late 1800s and American Indians, picked their leaders. The research is thicker on Custer, due to the vastly more complete written record. The history of Crazy Horse is based more on oral history of events long since passed. Pay no attention to reviewers that say this is not "the historical book on Custer." A book does not have to be a 1200 page tome to be a great book. Ambrose makes history vibrant and meaningful, a trait lost on most academic historians.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Taos Turner on October 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best history book I have read in years. If you like American history you will like this book. If you like history and have visited Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota, you will probably love this book. If you like Native American history and/or happen to be a Civil War buff, you will treasure this book and not want it to end.
Stephen Ambrose was a marvelous historian. He told real life stories with the skill of a master fiction writer. His characters are gripping, quixotic and often of enviable character. This was the case with Crazy Horse and Custer.
If you want to learn about what it was like to live as a Native American on the high plains in the 19th century, this book is for you. If you want to know what it was like to be a U.S. soldier during or after the Civil War, this book is for you. If you want to read a story about valor, integrity, dignity, tragedy and pain, this book is for you. The story of "how the West was won" is sad and heartbreaking at times. But so is life, and so is much of the history of history of the United States. Life, like history, can also be extremely exciting and adventursome. In this book, Ambrose brings both Crazy Horse and Custer back to life so that we may live their adventures with them as they make history.
Ambrose is exceptionally fair in his analysisof both men. He is partial to both the Native Americans and the U.S. soldiers who often brutalized them. He paints a picture that is, by all accounts, historically accurate and incredibly interesting. Ambrose makes it possible to see the good and bad in both Crazy Horse and Custer. He shows their strengths and weaknesses, allowing readere to draw their own conclusions about the nature of their conflict.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John on October 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's been years since I read this book, but it has stayed with me. Beyond resparking an interest in American frontier history that began in childhood, it also gave me a much more balanced view of Crazy Horse and especially Custer than I had before. Ambrose, as in his books about Lewis and Clark, WWII, and the building of the transcontinental railroad, has the ability to make you feel that you are living the history as you are reading. Some have disparaged this as "popularizing history", but I say it is a gift. To quote David McCullough, another fine historian and biographer, "There is only one secret to writing and teaching history. Tell stories." Why do you suppose that students today, even those at our finest universities are largely ignorant of history? It's either not required at all or it's taught as a compendium of names, places, and dates in a way that's so deathly dull that only the most self motivated student who is willing to do extra reading and research on his or her own would find it interesting. I've gotten way off the subject here, and for that I apologize. But that comment about "popularizing history" got to me.
To get back to "Crazy Horse and Custer", it's a very fine book. The only problem I had with it is that in harping about the U.S. government's failed, if halfhearted, effort at genocide and his assertion that Native Americans were simply in the way of inevitable western expansion, Ambrose fails to differentiate between physical and cultural genocide. The physical genocide obviously failed, but cultural genocide very nearly succeeded.
Despite that caveat, if you are interested in the history of the Indian wars and especially the history of these two very different and yet remarkably similar men, "Crazy Horse and Custer" is is a must read.
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