Tom Mayer's Reviews > Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians

Killing Custer by James Welch
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's review
Sep 23, 2007

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Recommended for: people who love american history and indian affairs
Read in February, 2006

Full disclosure: I had a hand in reissuing this book for W. W. Norton in 2006. That said... This book is brilliant. It's a personal and historical account of the battle of little bighorn. Instead of tellig custer's story, however, Welch, who is one of the great Native American novelists of the 20th century, casts the plains indians as the protagonists of this epic battle. Their unprecendented cooperation with one another signalled a final effort to stem the tide of American imperialism and genocide. Indeed it was these tribes' last stand, not custer's, and the leadership of chief sitting bull would become the defining characteristic. The book originally began as an American Experience documentary on PBS but now it is so much more. Please read this book. It is heartbreaking and important.
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message 1: by Donna (new) - added it

Donna Davis I am a gutless wonder. I got through the intro and first chapter, but I could only read about 5 pages at a time because it really, really hurt. And there wasn't anything I didn't know. He had the courage to use the point of view of the Natives, and I am glad you read the whole thing and gave it its due. I will get back to it when I can stand to.

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