Custer and the Little Bighorn … was he a hero or a fool?
Custer and the Little Bighorn : the man, the mystery, the myth / Jim Donovan (2001)
Some of the most famous warriors have always had a polarizing effect on people. Alexander the Great, Napoleon, George Paton and General George Armstrong Custer have had their detractors and their worshipers. Was Custer a great warrior who was finally defeated by circumstance, or was he a fool that led himself (and 261 men who had no choice) into glory and death?
This book made me think and evaluate my opinion on Custer, which is possibly the greatest thing any book can do. While the author’s opinion is quite obvious, it is well-balanced enough to let you form your own opinion, without trying to change your mind but allowing you to follow the book through to reach your own conclusion.
This book has a natural rhythm that means the story proceeds smoothly from point to point, subject to subject, in a manner that means the story and important information are not lost amongst superfluous details. It not only discusses the defeat of Custer and the 7th Cavalry, but remembers that it was the Native American Indians that defeated them. This battle would hasten the eventual destruction of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans whom were eventually starved, killed or chased onto the reservations of today.
In the end, this book has given us all the information we need, discussing several conflicting views whilst staying true to its original purpose. Well done.