Paul Pessolano's Reviews > The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick
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's review
Feb 20, 2011

really liked it

I can just imagine what comes to mind when one hears the names: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, General George Armstrong Custer, Major Marcus Reno, and The Battle of the Little Big Horn. Whatever the image it is probably wrong.

Nathaniel Philbrick, noted author of "Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea" puts together a formidable history of what really happened that day. He probes the life of both Sitting Bull and General (he wasn't really a General) Custer. The actions that both men took that fateful day may well have their basis in how they perceived themselves and others perceived them.

It is quite possibe that Sitting Bull was more than willing to come in peaceably if he were given the chance.

Was General Custer so in love with his created image that he put his entire company at risk to keep that image alive?

How could one of his officers (Major Reno) be so drunk that day that he was unable to command his troops?

Why did Custer surround himself with officers that continually questioned his authority and his past tactics?

Nathanial Philbrick looks into all these questions and comes up with some startling answers. He is also able to reconstruct what might have really happened that day.

Make no mistake this is a history book, but one that is very readable and takes a different view of an historical event that may well have been altered to appeal to the American people

There were two different reports of the incident that was submitted by GeneralAlfred Terry, one for the government and one to be releeased for the general public.

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