TribLIVE

| AandE


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

This 'Custer' cuts through all the Bull

Is there anything left to say about Gen. George Custer and his infamous last stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn? Just ask Larry McMurtry of Lonesome Dove and Brokeback Mountain fame.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Craig Wilson USA Today
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 3:36 p.m.
 

Is there anything left to say about Gen. George Custer and his infamous last stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn? Yes, evidently. Just ask Larry McMurtry of Lonesome Dove and Brokeback Mountain fame.

McMurtry has long been fascinated with the notorious general and his long flowing locks and has finally done something about it.

After turning down the opportunity for years, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning author has finally written his own take on Custer and the legendary battle that brought him down. Aptly called "Custer," McMurtry's book does what dozens of others on Custer have not.

It cuts through many of the myths, including what was actually said at the battle on June 25, 1876. McMurtry doubts, for instance, that Custer's famous cry, "Hurrah boys, we've got them," was ever uttered.

McMurtry tells the story of one of America's most famous -- and important -- battles in his unique and personal style in a series of short chatty chapters that are accompanied by lavish illustrations and historic photographs.

In short, it's entertaining and educational at the same time. McMurtry states his case early on.

"No matter what I write here, Custer's fights will continue to engage historians," he writes. "One of the duties of a short life is to bring clarity to the subject."

And McMurtry does, not only zeroing in on the idiosyncratic Custer, but the rest of the colorful characters -- Indian leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull; military men Sheridan and Sherman and Grant; such legends as Buffalo Bill Cody; and Custer's widow, Libbie, who was his PR agent for years after his death.

The battle was brief. So is this book. But you will enjoy the book more than Custer enjoyed the battle.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Shale oil, gas finds put Mon Valley on path to renaissance, leaders say
  2. Penguins forward Downie becoming a hit with teammates
  3. Ebola watch lists to shrink
  4. Opposing defenses find success against Steelers by eschewing blitz
  5. Legal titans prepared to tussle in Ferrante cyanide homicide trial
  6. Steelers looking for Spence to step up game at inside linebacker
  7. Scottdale appoints borough solicitor
  8. Pittsburgh photo exhibit shines light on ‘Good’ work
  9. Customers rarely utilize right to cancel a contract
  10. Freeport falls prey to Montour firepower
  11. Monessen police break up fight
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.