Custer's Trials

Custer's Trials

A Life on the Frontier of A New America

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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"In this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer's legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer's historical caricature, revealing a capable yet insecure man, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (court-martialed twice in six years) and the new corporate economy, a wartime emancipator who rejected racial equality. Stiles argues that, although Custer was justly noted for his exploits on the western frontier, he also played a central role as both a wide-ranging participant and polarizing public figure in his extraordinary, transformational time--a time of civil war, emancipation, brutality toward Native Americans, and, finally, the industrial revolution--even as he became one of its casualties. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation in Custer's tumultuous marriage to his highly educated wife, Libbie, their complicated relationship with Eliza Brown, the forceful black woman who ran their household, as well as his battles and expeditions. It
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307592644
Characteristics: xxi, 582 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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May 26, 2018

Amazing book - T.J. Stiles' expert scholarship and crisp writing bring Custer to life in ways that surprise and educate. Custer was a man of contradictions - vainly heroic in battle, needy and deceitful at other times. He was from a family that supported Confederate slavery positions, yet he empowered a young freed slave woman to oversee much of his personal affairs. His strong-willed wife led efforts to rehabilitate his image - more successfully than the history Stiles relates would suggest is worthy. A must read.

Jun 25, 2016

Likely the finest biography I have read, certainly the most thorough telling of this man's fascinating life.

Nov 24, 2015

His last stand proves that a sufficiently incompetent officer can destroy his command, no matter how good. Archeological and eye-witness accounts available, if interested.

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