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The outlines of Custer's life are familiar to all: After graduating last in his class at West Point, he rose to become the Union's youngest general on the strength of his flamboyance and military genius. Next came 12 years of checkered service in the American West, ending with the famous massacre at Little Bighorn. The most interesting unanswered question about Custer has less to do with his history than ours--why, more than a century later, are we so captivated by the man and his story? Wert believes the answer lies in the fact that Custer is a "symbol of the nation's guilt over its sad history of continental conquest." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Like a cavalry charge led by its celebrated subject, fast on the heels of Louise Barnett's Touched by Fire (Forecasts, Apr. 15) comes a second, even finer Custer bio from Wert (General James Longstreet) based on a broad spectrum of archival research and recent scholarship. Wert's Custer is eager for glory and greatness. At one time the Union's youngest general, Custer found both during the Civil War by establishing an unsurpassed record as a cavalry officer. He also made many enemies because of his flamboyant personal style, but his exuberant self-confidence carried him so far between 1861 and 1865 that, Wert contends, he saw no reason to change in the different environment of the postwar frontier army. According to the author, Custer resisted maturity and understood neither himself nor his new enemies, the Plains Indians. Custer took personal and professional risks, Wert shows, because he was most alive living on the edge. At the Little Bighorn, he took one set of chances too many. Like Barnett, Wert offers a sensitive reading of the Custers' marriage, which Barnett sees in the context of gender relations and which Wert limns as a 19th-century love story. Wert's work outshines Barnett's in its comprehensiveness, however, particularly in its treatment of Custer's military experiences. His Custer is at once hero and victim, archetype and original, and consistently compelling. Photos not seen by PW. History Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate selection.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I've read many books on Custer and I have to say this one wasn't even on my radar. I chose it randomly while looking through Amazon. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wendy
Well written story about an amazing individual who left his imprint upon a nation struggling with it's identify. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sue Waldman
Finally, a comprehensive narrative that is insightful, complete and unbiased in the presentation of a remarkable life story.Published 10 months ago by B. SMITH
Great book, well done. Highly recommend and I wish more people would read of the forebearers in the great country and learn their history.Published 16 months ago by Martha Thompson
Does a great job on a tough topic. This is about a General & the peter principle in the civil war .Published 22 months ago by Hermies Hermits
The book was in near perfect condition, much better than I expected. It arrived promptlyand at a great price. Couldn't ask for anything more.Published 24 months ago by stuart schlotterbeck