Author James Robbins demonstrates that Custer, having graduated last in his class at West Point, went on to prove himself again and again as an extremely skilled cavalry leader.Read more...
Author James Robbins demonstrates that Custer, having graduated last in his class at West Point, went on to prove himself again and again as an extremely skilled cavalry leader. Robbins argues that Custer's undoing was his bold and cocky attitude, which caused the Army's bloodiest defeat in the Indian Wars.
Robbins also dives into Custer's personal life, exploring his letters and other personal documents to reveal who he was as a person, underneath the military leader. "The Real Custer" is an exciting and valuable contribution to the legend and history of Custer that will delight Custer fans as well as readers new to the legend.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Here’s another Custer biography, purportedly of the “real” man, as if other writers haven’t tried to capture that elusive “real” creature—but despite its redundancies, Robbins delivers a book about as free of cliché arguments as one can get. He avoids the cynicism and sneering that too often attend his subject to give a full, sympathetic, yet warts-and-all portrait of the man we’ve long known: last in his West Point class, impetuous, cocky, brave, foolish, insubordinate, violent, a born warrior who struggled to survive in peacetime, and, of course, the controversial chump of Little Big Horn. While Robbins (who’s written on Custer’s West Point class and on the Tet offensive) relates Custer’s life story well, he’s best at summoning the military and political context of the man’s life and acts, as well as the people key to Custer’s spectacular advances in rank and responsibility. For Custer himself, scarcely a subject crying out for more attention, Robbins can add little to what’s already been frequently told. Thus this addition to the list of existing Custer biographies merits attention principally for being the newest and for being written with verve while remaining fair to its subject. (July)