Customer Reviews for

The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Little Bighorn

Custer ~~ Sitting Bull ~~ Little Bighorn. The names evoke excitement & mystery even today. The events of 25 Jun 1876 are (& will be) shrouded in nystery & will never be known with any confidence of accuracy.All that can be said for sure is that Gen Custer & his 7th Cava...
Custer ~~ Sitting Bull ~~ Little Bighorn. The names evoke excitement & mystery even today. The events of 25 Jun 1876 are (& will be) shrouded in nystery & will never be known with any confidence of accuracy.All that can be said for sure is that Gen Custer & his 7th Cavalry died fighting to "the last man" in one of the greates "Last Stands" in the American west. And yet, Nathaniel Philbrick, has managed to pick through the strands of time & history to bring it to life. And he succeeds admirably. And, in doing so, he shows the simularities of Gen Custer & Sitting Bull; each had their demons, their flaws, their beliefs & their strategies.This is history at its finest as Mr Philbrick takes us along with the 7th Cavalry on its ill~fated 1876 campaign. And he follows the Sioux as they attempt to recapture tribal life as it was before the white man arrived. It is fascinating & well researched. His conclusions & placement of blame for the disaster may not be much of a surprise but they are backed up with his historian's instinctive grasp of detail & narrative. He gives us a first~hand look at the personalities of Custer & Sitting Bull & how Custer's Last Stand in effect was also the Last Stand for the Sioux & American Indian.

posted by dragonsscape on June 8, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

No Love for Custer

Philbrick's work is characterized for its passion, entrancing the reader with the power of his research and historical characters that arouse empathy from his audience. It's clear that both Mayflower and In The Heart of The Sea are subjects that are near and dear to th...
Philbrick's work is characterized for its passion, entrancing the reader with the power of his research and historical characters that arouse empathy from his audience. It's clear that both Mayflower and In The Heart of The Sea are subjects that are near and dear to the author. Both aforementioned works provide insight to cultures and eras that are vividly revealed to the reader. The Stand is an aberration to Philbrick's work, a multi-faceted recollection of the first great American military disaster (a subject that is fascinating enough) focusing primarily on the confrontation from eyewitness accounts. His depiction of the American military leadership on the ground (Terry, Custer, Reno and Bennton) leaves a sour taste in the mind of the reader. There is no love for these figures, and Philbrick's narrative places a tremendous amount of weight on individuals that, frankly, are not that interesting. Oddly, Philbrick doesn't seem too interested either. He occasionally discusses Sitting Bull and the Lakota peoples, but these moments are all too brief--and superficial. His inclusion of the Lakota reeks of political correctness, especially when he mentions that this was really Custer and Sitting Bull's "last stand."

The Last Stand does have its moments. The depiction of the battle, Reno's "Charge," and the subsequent sieges are harrowing stories. Philbrick's narrative is captivating, providing eyewitness accounts of the military tactics and the complete incompetence of the American military operation. Outside of these components, The Last Stand is a disappointment, but for the reader interested in the Custer campaign its certainly worthy of a read.....

posted by HarryVane on June 13, 2010

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    No Love for Custer

    Philbrick's work is characterized for its passion, entrancing the reader with the power of his research and historical characters that arouse empathy from his audience. It's clear that both Mayflower and In The Heart of The Sea are subjects that are near and dear to the author. Both aforementioned works provide insight to cultures and eras that are vividly revealed to the reader. The Stand is an aberration to Philbrick's work, a multi-faceted recollection of the first great American military disaster (a subject that is fascinating enough) focusing primarily on the confrontation from eyewitness accounts. His depiction of the American military leadership on the ground (Terry, Custer, Reno and Bennton) leaves a sour taste in the mind of the reader. There is no love for these figures, and Philbrick's narrative places a tremendous amount of weight on individuals that, frankly, are not that interesting. Oddly, Philbrick doesn't seem too interested either. He occasionally discusses Sitting Bull and the Lakota peoples, but these moments are all too brief--and superficial. His inclusion of the Lakota reeks of political correctness, especially when he mentions that this was really Custer and Sitting Bull's "last stand."

    The Last Stand does have its moments. The depiction of the battle, Reno's "Charge," and the subsequent sieges are harrowing stories. Philbrick's narrative is captivating, providing eyewitness accounts of the military tactics and the complete incompetence of the American military operation. Outside of these components, The Last Stand is a disappointment, but for the reader interested in the Custer campaign its certainly worthy of a read.....

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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