Custer & the Battle of Little Bighorn

On January 14, 2009, author and historian Michael Elliott will discuss his new book Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer at the Plaza Branch. Explore these books about this famous military commander, the battle known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” or the Oglala Lakota people.

George Armstrong Custer | The Battle of Little Bighorn | Oglala Lakota

George Armstrong Custer

 The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer book jacket

Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer
By Michael A. Elliott
On a hot summer day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer led the Seventh Cavalry to the most famous defeat in U.S. military history. In this in-depth study, the author tackles the far more complicated question of why the battle of Little Bighorn retains such power for Americans today.

Touched By Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer
By Louise Barnett
In a field teeming with highly partisan and wildly speculative treatments of Custer, Louise Barnett presents a volume widely acclaimed by both military and cultural historians as a balanced account of his life and legend. Custer's life spans two great eras of American history, and Barnett's commanding work pushes beyond the existing literature to a comprehensive view of this controversial figure.

Son of the Morning Star
By Evan S. Connell
Custer's Last Stand is among the most enduring events in American history--more than one hundred years after the fact, books continue to be written and people continue to argue about even the most basic details surrounding the Little Bighorn. Evan S. Connell makes good use of his meticulous research and novelist's eye for the story and detail to re-create the heroism, foolishness, and savagery of this crucial chapter in the history of the West.

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Battle of Little Bighorn

 The Last Great Battle of the American West book jacket

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn: The Last Great Battle of the American West
By James Donovan
Scrupulously researched, this work is brimming with authentic detail and an unforgettable people--from Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse to Ulysses Grant and Custer himself--that relates the entire story of the fascinating Battle at Little Bighorn.

The Arikara Narrative of Custer's Campaign and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
Orin G. Libby, editor
General George Armstrong Custer's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn is well known through U.S. military sources and Lakota and Cheyenne narratives, but little has been heard from the Indians who fought beside Custer -- the Arikara scouts. Now their eyewitness reports on Custer's campaigns from 1874 through 1876 are told in The Arikara Narrative of Custer's Campaign and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the result of interviews with nine scouts by Orin G. Libby in 1912. Originally forty strong, the Arikaras scouted in advance of the U.S. Army for Custer and Reno, reporting enemy Indian movements and seeking to capture their horses. Their accounts of the Battle of the Little Bighorn reveal much about why Custer failed -- indeed, the Arikaras went into battle believing the Sioux medicine was so strong that defeat was inevitable.

Custer and Little Bighorn: The Man, the Mystery, the Myth
By Jim Donovan
This illustrated book examines the life of this complex figure and this equally complex battle that would forever change history. Lavishly illustrated with many rare illustrations, it's also the first photographic history of the man and his Civil War exploits. In Custer and Little Bighorn historian Jim Donovan examines the leader's life in full, from his childhood and days at West Point through his Civil War achievements and Indian-fighting career to his death on the Little Bighorn--providing a comprehensive, authoritative look at the man and the history surrounding his final battle.

Killing Custer: the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the fate of the Plains Indians
By James Welch with Paul Stekler
In his first nonfiction work, the author of The Death of Jim Loney and The Indian Lawyer resurrects the Plains Indians' side of the story of the Little Bighorn from beneath a mountain of myth and misinterpretation, revamping the meaning of the conflict for a multicultural society.

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Oglala Lakota

 A Lakota Life book jacket

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life
By Kingsley M. Bray
Crazy Horse was as much feared by tribal foes as he was honored by allies. His war record was unmatched by any of his peers, and his rout of Custer at the Little Bighorn reverberates through history. Yet so much about him is unknown or steeped in legend.

The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History
By Joseph M. Marshall III
Drawing his account from the Lakota oral tradition, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall III reveals the nuanced complexities of the quintessential clash of cultures between the Lakota Sioux and whites at Little Bighorn.

Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
by Nicholas Black Elk, as told through John G. Neihardt
This book is the powerful and inspirational story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk and his people during the momentous twilight years of the 19th century, as told to distinguished poet, writer, and critic Neihardt in 1930.

On the Rez
By Ian Frazier
Frazier recounts his experiences among the Oglala Sioux when he visits the descendant of Crazy Horse and Black Elk on Pine Ridge Reservation, now one of the poorest places in America. The author of the bestseller The Great Plains portrays the survival--through toughness and humor--of the great people whose culture has shaped American identity.

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Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.