The Custer Reader

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George Armstrong Custer, America’s most famously unfortunate soldier, has been the subject of scores of books, but The Custer Reader is unique as a substantial source of classic writings about and by him. Here is Custer as seen by himself, his contemporaries, and leading scholars. Even those steeped in Custeriana will discover new insights in these pieces. Combining first-person narratives, essays, and photographs, this book provides a complete introduction to Custer’s controversial personality and career and the evolution of the Custer myth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hutton's anthology brings writings by contemporaries of the flamboyant general together with recent scholarly accounts of his career in the Civil War and in campaigns against the Plains Indians. Photos, maps. Military Book Club selection. (Aug.)
Library Journal
With literally hundreds of titles about ``America's most famously unfortunate soldier,'' Hutton history, Univ. of New Mexico manages to find and fill a niche in the Custer literature. The author of several award-winning works on the West e.g., Phil Sheridan & His Army , Hutton here collects writings by both historians and contemporaries of Custer, organizing them in four broad categories: the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Little Big Horn, and the Custer Myth. Good contemporary photographs and illustrations supplement the readings. This work nicely complements such standards as Robert Utley's Cavalier in Buckskin Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1988 and Brian Dipple's Custer's Last Stand o.p.. Despite its length, it will appeal to the history buff as well as the serious Custer scholar. Recommended for academic and public libraries. History Book Club alternate.--Daniel Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ.
Washington Times
"Interest in the career of George Armstrong Custer has been unflagging since his death in battle near the Little Bighorn River in 1876, and books and articles about him have flowed steadily. It is time, then, that a diligent scholar and able editor should seek out the best that has been written by and about Custer, both by contemporaries and modern scholars, and package it for those who thrive on Custeriana as well as for those who would simply like to know more about him. Mr. Hutton has done a fine job of presenting both the man and the many myths that have grown up around the boy general of the Civil War and the colorful Indian fighter of the plains."—Washington Times
Parade Magazine
"[These] well-illustrated pages contain just about everything you'd want to know about the impetuous, courageous but not overly clever [Custer]. . . . Some of the most gripping reports are those of officers who actually participated in the fatal expedition and its maneuvers in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory. The Indians get their word in, too, most notably a grisly account of the 1876 battle by an eighty-year-old Cheyenne woman named Kate Bighead. . . . Certainly the dashing, war-loving Long Hair—which is what the Indians called their implacable enemy—never seemed more vivid a figure than in this unusual anthology."—Parade Magazine
True West
"Very seldom is a book a pure joy to read; The Custer Reader is such a book. It offers standard texts and fresh insights about the United States' most famous—and most maligned—military figure."—True West
AB Bookman Weekly
"May well become the definitive book on this mythical and thoroughly controversial figure."—AB Bookman Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806134659
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 1,021,675
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Andrew Hutton is Professor of History, University of New Mexico. His books include Phil Sheridan and His Army, The Custer Reader, and Soldiers West.

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Table of Contents

The Civil War
Custer : the Civil War years 7
From West Point to the battlefield 33
Custer's "last stand" - Trevilian Station, 1864 53
The battle of Waynesboro 69
Photographic essay 83
The Indian wars
Custer : the Indian fighter 103
The west breaks in General Custer 116
Some reminiscences, including the Washita battle, November 27, 1868 159
Expedition to the Yellowstone River in 1873 : letters of a young cavalry officer 180
Battling with the Sioux on the Yellowstone 201
The Little Big Horn
The Little Big Horn 239
Custer's last battle 257
The cavalry campaign outfit at the Little Big Horn 319
The battle of the Little Bighorn 336
Custer's last battle 345
She watched Custer's last battle 363
The Custer myth
From Little Big Horn to little big man : the changing image of a western hero in popular culture 395
The pictorial record of the old west : Custer's last stand - John Mulvany, Cassilly Adams, and Otto Becker 424
Sunday at the Little Big Horn with George 463
Jack Crabb and the sole survivors of Custer's last stand 473
"Correct in every detail" : General Custer in Hollywood 488
Custer : the legend of the martyred hero in America 525
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