Michael David Cobb's Reviews > Crazy Horse and Custer

Crazy Horse and Custer by Stephen E. Ambrose
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really liked it

A very good look at the Sioux culture and the differences between it and that of the US at the time. I just finished this after listening to several of Dan Carlin's military history podcasts, especially those dealing with the technological differences between the Greeks and the Persians and how those battles changed history. In comparison, everything in the American Plains could be considered small skirmishes. I was surprised to learn that Custer had no more that 250 troops along with him in the 7th Cav where he met his end, and that people debated for years that a couple soldiers here or there would have made the crucial difference.

The role of the great buffalo herds in the Indian economy is well illustrated, and often understated with regards to its consequence in the duplicitous diplomacy Ambrose describes. The Sioux in particular exhibited very little flexibility - rather like a fishing economy that suffers from overfishing, except of course it was the US that destroyed the herds.

Along with Ambrose' account of the Lewis & Clark expeditions, this book is an excellent look at 19th Century America. I will be reading Jared Diamond next.
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Reading Progress

January 16, 2019 – Started Reading
January 16, 2019 – Shelved
February 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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