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? 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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ejections, heated moments mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
- New Steeler Boykin clarifies remarks about former coach
- Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Making environmentalism divisive
- County council candidates chosen for District 11 ballot
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense