Kate'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
Nov 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: us-history-military-history-egoma, egomaniacal-bios
Recommended for: military history buffs

I had enjoyed Philbrick's style in other books, so felt confident in choosing this one. Plainly, a great deal of research went into this book but oh dear. I wasn't able to get much out of it.

I made an earnest effort to follow along, but was frustrated by the fact that the photos of the combatants were placed in no particular order, requiring a fresh search each time I wanted to verify an individual. I tried to gain clarity by using the maps, but was frustrated in this endeavor because some events mentioned in the text were not shown on the maps, and the successive maps changed size and geographical orientation. I would have been most grateful for one map that showed the entire territory and the entire time period.

Well, perhaps the events at the Little Big Horn were so swift and complicated that it's not possible to organize them into a clear narrative.

As always with history books, I did enjoy all the information about personalities and day-to-day lives and activities. Some few individuals behaved with incredible courage and honor in fearsome circumstances. But the one thing that WAS clear to me was that these officers of the cavalry, for the most part, were as cliquish, petty, selfserving and backbiting a group as one could hope to encounter.

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