Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American WarriorsPaperback
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- Publisher: POCKET BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 560 pages
- Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 38mm | 396g
- Publication date: 2 June 2003
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0743468643
- ISBN 13: 9780743468640
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: New edition
- Illustrations note: b&w illustrations
- Sales rank: 127,746
On June 25, 1876, 611 men of the United States 7th Cavalry rode towards the banks of the Little Bighorn where three thousand Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great war leaders would soon become forever linked: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer. This masterly dual biography tells the epic story of the lives of these two men: both were fighters of legendary daring, both became honoured leaders in their societies when still astonishingly young, and both died when close to the supreme political heights. Yet they - like the nations they represented - were as different as day and night. Custer had won his spurs in the American Civil War; his watchword was 'To promotion - or death!' and his restless ambition characterized a white nation in search of expansion and progress. Crazy Horse fought for a nomadic way of life fast yielding before the buffalo-hunters and the incursions of the white man. The Great Plains of North America provided the stage - and the prize.
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Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling BAND OF BROTHERS, D-DAY (on which SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was based) PEGASUS BRIDGE and WILD BLUE. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in 2002.
"Movingly told and well written . . . a fine contribution, one that will be read with pleasure and admiration by general reader, student and scholar alike. Ambrose has breathed new life into the familiar facts."--"Library Journal" "An epic and accurate retelling of one of our country's most tragic periods."--"Baltimore Sun"
The two great warriors who led their men at Little Bighorn may have championed opposing causes, but their lives had a remarkable amount in common. Both spent idyllic childhoods, developed aggressive willpower and ambition, fell into disgrace through unlikely romances, and regained glory even stronger than before. And both were on the brink of attaining great political power before meeting ignominious deaths. Yet for all the similarities, the personalities of Sioux chief Crazy Horse and US 7th Cavalry leader General George Armstrong Custer could scarcely have been more different. And, as Stephen Ambrose reveals in this classic study first published in 1975, neither man has been represented well by Hollywood and pulp writers. Ambrose tells the story of the two in parallel chapters, from earliest childhood to death. What emerges through contemporary records and from turn-of-the-century accounts of people who knew the men is a tale that reveals much about the mindset on both sides of the pioneering divide. Custer epitomised his society's insatiable appetite for progress and expansion. His favourite phrase was, 'To promotion - or death.' If this seems to bear out the common perception of the man as a reckless gambler, then it does him no justice. Custer was an intelligent and shrewd individual with high moral values. The same can be said of Crazy Horse, who rose against the odds to lead a great people in the fight for a right to their nomadic way of life. Both Crazy Horse and Custer were noble in their respective styles. As in his bestselling books D-Day and Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose evokes a great sense of time and place and pitches his readers into the heat of battle. You can't help but take sides, and though the outcome of the biggest battle of all - Little Bighorn - is well known, Ambrose packs in a wealth of detail that is not generally known. The result is an epic tale of courage as well as a moving portrait of two great men, and it comes with stunning photographs. (Kirkus UK)