Custer In this lavishly illustrated volume Larry McMurtry the greatest chronicler of the American West tackles for the first time one of the paramount figures of Western and American history On June

  • Title: Custer
  • Author: Larry McMurtry
  • ISBN: 9781451626223
  • Page: 296
  • Format: ebook
  • In this lavishly illustrated volume, Larry McMurtry, the greatest chronicler of the American West, tackles for the first time one of the paramount figures of Western and American history On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked a large Lakota Cheyenne village on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory He lost not only the battIn this lavishly illustrated volume, Larry McMurtry, the greatest chronicler of the American West, tackles for the first time one of the paramount figures of Western and American history On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked a large Lakota Cheyenne village on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory He lost not only the battle but his life and the lives of his entire cavalry Custer s Last Stand was a spectacular defeat that shocked the country and grew quickly into a legend that has reverberated in our national consciousness to this day Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry has long been fascinated by the Boy General and his rightful place in history In Custer, he delivers an expansive, agile, and clear eyed reassessment of the iconic general s life and legacy how the legend was born, the ways in which it evolved, what it has meant told against the broad sweep of the American narrative We see Custer in all his contradictions and complexity as the perpetually restless man with a difficult marriage, a hunger for glory, and an unwavering confidence in his abilities McMurtry explores how the numerous controversies that grew out of the Little Bighorn combined with a perfect storm of technological developments the railroad, the camera, and the telegraph to fan the flames of his legend He shows how Custer s wife, Libbie, worked for decades after his death to portray Major Marcus Reno as the cause of the disaster of the Little Bighorn, and how Buffalo Bill Cody, who ended his Wild West Show with a valiant reenactment of Custer s Last Stand, played a pivotal role in spreading Custer s notoriety While Custer is first and foremost an enthralling story filled with larger than life characters Ulysses S Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, William J Fetterman, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud McMurtry also argues that Little Bighorn should be seen as a monumental event in our nation s history Like all great battles, its true meaning can be found in its impact on our politics and policy, and the epic defeat clearly signaled the end of the Indian Wars and brought to a close the great narrative of western expansion In Custer, Larry McMurtry delivers a magisterial portrait of a complicated, misunderstood man that not only irrevocably changes our long standing conversation about Custer, but once again redefines our understanding of the American West.

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    1 thought on “Custer”

    1. Most readers know Larry McMurtry as a fine writer of fiction, but fewer people know he is a master of the short biography. "Crazy Horse" is an example of such a biography. "Custer" isn't. Which is not to say that "Custer" is without its virtues and pleasures. "Custer" is a sumptuous coffee table book, full of a score of pictures of the Colonel and Mrs. Custer, and--even better--at least two score photographs of Native Americans--most of them involved in this great final victory of the unwinnable [...]

    2. You don't have to be much of a salesperson to sell me a book on Custer or the fight at Little Big Horn, so when I saw this offering by Larry McMurtry I had my wallet out pretty darn quick. After all, McMurtry had pennedLonesome Dove , one of the best darn westerns ever. I soon found out that being a capable writer of fiction doesn't necessarily make one a capable biographer. I got the impression that he was thinking: "I'm Larry McMurtry and I have a zillion books in print so I really don't have [...]

    3. This book is so full of inaccuracies that it has to be dismissed as trash. I will give two examples. One place in the book he correctly states that after a drunken binge Custer remained a teetotaler for the rest of his life. However, it states that at the Little Bighorn Custer was drinking whiskey. The quote is on page 141. "Custer,who was sampling two fine kegs of liquor from one of the packs, probably had no idea that Reno was as deep in trouble as he had been. What an outrageous lie! Sorry du [...]

    4. One of my favorite westerns was Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. While I experienced this book in audio format, it was just a wonderful saga of the old West and as I recall McMurtry won a Pulitzer prize for the effort. It was with these thoughts in mind that this week with great anticipation I purchased a copy of "Custer" by Larry McMurtry. I made a mistake.I want to provide a full paragraph quote from "Custer". This is the last paragraph in Chapter Four."Which man had the sadder lot is not easy [...]

    5. "Custer" is a well illustrated but badly written book. I don't mean that McMurtry is ungrammatical, or that he is unknowlegeable, but that he has produced an ill-organized and inadequately conceived book. Individual sentences make sense, more or less, but they are not connected to the sentences around them in any meaningful way. The same is true of phrases, paragraphs, and chapters. You could change their order any way you wanted to and the effects of the change wouldn't decrease the book's clar [...]

    6. Okay so I didn't abandon it butis book sucked donkey balls. First of all, what is wrong with publishing these days? No one can afford a good proofreader or editor? Crazy. And why did McMurtry write this? His greed, his publishers' greed? He clearly didn't like Custer or his wife and put the most negative, simplistic spin on nearly every chapter of this man's life. No balance was attempted nor accuracy, nuance.I almost got out a notebook to write page numbers and mistakes down. In the first 50 pa [...]

    7. OK, this was a long way from being my favorite McMurtry. Obviously, fiction is his strong suit. However, I think some of our fellow participants need to chill out and THINK for a second before writing a review. Some of the reviews were scathing, characterizing the book as worthless, historically inaccurate or incomplete and so on ad nauseum. First of all, this is a coffe table book for God's sake. If you want the detailed, complete story find one of the many good volumes that has been wriien on [...]

    8. This book was shockingly disappointing--truly bad, to the point where it helps me better appreciate other books. But first, a few positives: I listened to this on audiobook, and the chapters are very short, which made for easy listening. Also, the reader was very good. Second, the printed volume (I checked that out from my library as well) contained a lot of interesting pictures and paintings--well worth perusing but not owning.What made this book so bad was its simplistic and roundabout analysi [...]

    9. This is a terrible book. The pictures are nice, but the text is disjointed and ungrammatical, and it's obvious that no editor or proofreader ever got anywhere near it. Chapters are thrown together willy nilly, with succeeding paragraphs having nothing to do with each other. The author repeats himself all over the place to no effect, and his few attempts to be clever are groan-worthy at best. At last, on page 106, he abdicates all responsibility for saying anything new or interesting about Custer [...]

    10. The value here is in the photos & art. There is a lot of that, all apropos, regarding the eponymous figurehead he's expounding on. Although "expounding" may not be the right wordis is a "short life", or an abbreviated bio--as opposed to the thick & thorough juggernaut tomes of TMI which larger-than-life real-world characters often attract. In this case, it was more about chiming in. McMurtry, an author whose career may be arcing to a close, given his age and voluminous output, and self-r [...]

    11. It was good to have so many great photos all in one place. I particularly liked those of the wagon train on p 89, those of Custer and his wife Libby pp. 78-83, Custer in his study p. 88 and the many photos and paintings of the Indians and their leaders. The final photos of and about Wild Bill Cody seem to be an afterthought.I don’t read many coffee table books (not many people do), or pick them up (which many people do), but this one caught my eye. I wondered what Larry McMurtry’s take on Cu [...]

    12. Did you watch the movie "Night at the Museum 2" and think they were exaggerating the Custer part to be funny? After reading Larry McMurtry's Custer on adobe reader, I have to say, I kept thinking of that movie the entire time. McMurtry is a wonderful writer. He is colorful, not-too-detailed, and he is funny. Who knew history good be so amusing? And remember, I am talking about a slaughter, so that says alot. McMurty starts at the beginning of Custer's career and works his way to the end, even pa [...]

    13. Larry McMurtry's "short biography" of Custer doesn't really cover any new ground. It contains lots of anecdotes and some damned fine stories.If you want an in-depth read of Little Big Horn and Custer, look elsewhere (start with Nathaneal Philbrick). But if you want a quick look at Custer (probably a bit lacking on the Civil War side), pick up McMurtry.And it's a great read if you're trying for four books in four days

    14. Custer, by Larry McMurtry, promises to bring the complexity of George Armstrong Custer to life by illuminating his difficult marriage and his glory-seeking in an assessment of Custer’s fame and the power of his personality while redefining the common understanding of the American West. This title is published by Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 978-1-4516-2622-3 as an ebook.The author begins by explaining that his work will cut through much of the irrelevant guesswork that is common in most of the [...]

    15. Ambush!The alleged Indian fighter Custer may not have been scalped but I feel I was after stumbling and staggering through the pages of Larry McMurtry’s meagre biography of the controversial seventh cavalry commander. Furthermore, I came to realize that wasn’t the only wound I suffered in the process: I noticed a big hole in my wallet too. McMurtry’s “Custer” is awful.Like Custer, I never saw this coming. And why would I? Who could possibly have thought that McMurtry, the doyen of writ [...]

    16. "Custer" is a well-illustrated and very brief "life and times" of General George Armstrong Custer, written by Larry McMurtry of "Lonesome Dove" fame. It's interesting in spots and engaging in its own way, but it rambles with a vengeance. The narrative wanders all over the 19th Century American West, touching on some aspect of Custer's life, then digressing to a quick and inconclusive "parallel life" of John C. Fremont, then a brief excursion into Custer's marriage to his wife, Libby, then to the [...]

    17. In the years after the Civil War my great-great-grandfather, a Union soldier, went AWOL from the Army in Kansas. An old letter from his daughter says that he was having trouble with a superior officer, and one of them was going to kill the other unless my great-great-grandfather took off. General George A. Custer was in Kansas at the same time, and I’ve always wondered if maybe he was the superior officer mentioned in the letter. I can easily believe that an ancestor of mine could become frust [...]

    18. I didn't know how to rate this book because it's the first book on Custer that I've ever read. I liked the historical notes and swift story-telling that unfolds. I little jumpy - here and there about people and places. Causes a lapse in some of the time and events, but overall, a great story of the West. The book was given to my by my father-in-law, Mac. He is a Vietnam veteran and absolutely loves Custer. He has the Last Stand poster in his office at well as Custer's famous portrait in hat. I h [...]

    19. Larry McMurtry’s Custer includes lots of graphics, and that’s good. The text itself is choppy, consisting of short chapters sometimes chronological and sometimes not. The effect is to make the read uneven, as if the text had been put together by someone with ADD. It’s clear from the outset that McMurtry does not like Custer. Just about everything negative that could be said about the guy is included. The author does make some good points along the way. The 1876 debacle at the Little Big Ho [...]

    20. As Mr. McMurtry terms it, it is a "short read" on Custer. It is enough to "wet the appetite" without boring. It made me want to get into some of the other books recommended, although I think I've got enough on Custer for now. I just appreciate the glimpse into this time in history. McMurtry makes the history interested in a very familiar style and certainly doesn't glamorize General Custer. I recommend this book especially since you will invest very little time. The audio version is very easy to [...]

    21. Not great - though an easy run through of Custer's personal career set against the bigger historical events and trends from the Civil War through western migration and development of railroad and gold rush in Black Hills. As others have noted, it is so easy to find detail errors that almost nothing in this book can be counted on 100%. Lots of personal impressions from McMurtry and lots of filler too. It's pretty much a Custer picture book.

    22. If you want a coffee table book this would work as long as no one opens it. Nothing new, large print, and a lot of pictures.

    23. I'm not a reader of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" series, though I'm sure I would enjoy them. I should have enjoyed a biography of Custer as well, but McMurtry's style was a little scattershot for me. He broke the book into many small chapters, many of which hinted at much the same events as the last chapter or the one to come. His writing was at times crisp and humorous, but I was left thinking that the book was done in a hurry. It's too bad, because I believe McMurtry knows his subject and [...]

    24. The amount of skipping around this author does and his presumptive assumption one is entirely familiar with the subject and the time period were enough to frustrate me into deserting it for something more organized and approachable. Unsubstantiated opinion mixed with fact - usually about other's opinions rather than the supposed subject of this work added to my annoyance. Basically didn't like it.

    25. It seems like someone told the author "hey, you oughta write a book about Custer." And so he did. Not a lot of new info or insight here. I was hoping for more since I've always been interested in the story of Little Bighorn and Custer, and had tour of the battlefield many years ago. I'm glad I listened to the book on CD while I was driving to Minnesota; otherwise may not have finished it.

    26. Indian WarsThis is an interesting book by Larry McMurtry. Having read many of his books, I was expecting a long tome, very serious. In actuality, of is short and rather light hearted considering the subject.

    27. After reading this I have the seen from Billy Madison running through my head: "At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought." That being said it was fun

    28. Read this in preparation of visiting Battle of Little Bighorn battlefield. Interesting read and I feel more knowledgeable. There are lots of books on the subject, but for a good, quick history lesson, this was perfect.

    29. Not often I regret reading a book. I was hoping for a serious book on Custer, not this fragmented, disjointed, folksy diatribe.

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