The bestselling author of Mayflower revisits one of the most iconic and misunderstood stories of the American West.
Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American
imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized
as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other
famous last stands, from the Spartans’ defeat at Thermopylae to Davy
Crockett at the Alamo.
In his tightly structured narrative,
Nathaniel Philbrick brilliantly sketches the two larger-than-life
antagonists: Sitting Bull, whose charisma and political savvy earned him
the position of leader of the Plains Indians, and George Armstrong
Custer, one of the Union's greatest cavalry officers and a man with a
reputation for fearless and often reckless courage. Philbrick reminds
readers that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was also, even in victory,
the last stand for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations. Increasingly
outraged by the government’s Indian policies, the Plains tribes allied
themselves and held their ground in southern Montana. Within a few
years of Little Bighorn, however, all the major tribal leaders would be
confined to Indian reservations.
beautifully evokes the history and geography of the Great Plains with
his characteristic grace and sense of drama. The Last Stand is a
mesmerizing account of the archetypal story of the American West, one
that continues to haunt our collective imagination.
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