The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History

Overview

The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota

The saga of 'Custer's Last Stand' has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players-Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer-have grown to larger-than-life proportions. Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall presents the revisionist view of the Battle of the Little Bighorn that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. ...

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The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History

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Overview

The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota

The saga of 'Custer's Last Stand' has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players-Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer-have grown to larger-than-life proportions. Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall presents the revisionist view of the Battle of the Little Bighorn that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. Drawing on this rich source of storytelling, Marshall uncovers what really took place at the Little Big Horn and provides fresh insight into the significance of that bloody day.

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Editorial Reviews

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Most of us grew up thinking of the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn as "Custer's Last Stand," a reductive way of regarding an armed engagement that involved at least 1,600 men. In recent decades, historians have given depth to what might be regarded otherwise as one soldier's bloody last hurrah. Now award-winning Lakota historian Joseph Marshall III presents this momentous confrontation from a Native American viewpoint, adding nuances that had been available previously only in Lakota oral tradition. This meticulous study identifies some of the roots of the conflict and reveals some of its seldom-discussed consequences. History from a new angle.
Publishers Weekly

America's westward expansion in the 19th century was far from a foregone conclusion to the thousands of indigenous peoples, whose ancient way of life lay in its path. Historian Marshall (The Journey of Crazy Horse; The Lakota Way), who was born on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation and has long chronicled the traditions and perspective of the Great Plains tribes, explains the context and the painful aftermath of this major turning point in his people's history. His careful description of the Greasy Grass Fight of 1876 (or the Battle of the Little Bighorn) overturns the popular misconception that the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors' victory over the U.S. Seventh Cavalry was a "fluke" or, worse still, "a massacre." Yet he also registers the enormity of the change that followed—including forced settlement, assimilation and dependency—when Crazy Horse surrendered his rifle to a U.S. Army officer less than a year later. Chapters alternately emphasizing strategy, weaponry, beliefs, lifestyle and other areas lend a fractured quality and some redundancy to the narrative. But Marshall's thoughtful reflections and rich detail (much of it drawn from the oral stories of unidentified Lakota elders) also immerse the reader in the experience of a once free people wrestling with an uncertain destiny. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Custer's Last Stand from the Lakota point of view. Marshall (The Lakota Way, 2001, etc.) has examined all the research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn undertaken by traditional historians and Custer "groupies." In addition, he has studied the versions told by Lakota storytellers since that June day in 1876 when flamboyant Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer unwisely divided his force and died with all of his men on the hills above the Little Bighorn River in southern Montana. In an eloquent introduction, the author argues for the significance and dignity of the oral tradition. Marshall alludes appropriately to academic scholarship, but he focuses sharply on how the Lakota saw events and the impact of their last major victory on their lives thereafter. He begins with the deaths of respected Lakota battle leader Gall's two wives and daughter-the first to fall, he avers, when a column of Custer's Seventh Cavalry fired directly into the tipis as it rode toward the enormous Lakota village in which some 10,000 Indians from various tribes had assembled. Marshall, himself raised on a Sioux reservation, occasionally leaves the battle to instruct us in his people's history and culture, as well as their conflicts with the seemingly endless torrent of (mostly) white Americans propelled across the plains by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. He tells us about the great Lakota warriors and leaders: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Gall, whose value at Little Bighorn the author believes has been greatly underestimated. Marshall also explains the history of the bow and arrow, commends the Lakota for their discipline, martial prowess and horsemanship, explores their spiritual life and, most disturbingly,outlines the government's egregious post-battle policies, which seemed intent on destroying the Lakota way. A profoundly loving and proudly tendentious view of a bloody battle and the fierce cultural warfare that ensued.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433205996
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph M. Marshall III, historian and storyteller, is the author of six previous books, including The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living, which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA West Award in 2002.  He was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation and his first language is Lakota. Marshall is a recipient of the Wyoming Humanities Award. He makes his home on the Northern Plains.

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