Custer's Trials

A Life on the Frontier of a New America
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (23.75 hours)
Product Number: Z100087771
Released: Oct 27, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781101924273
Narrator/s: Arthur Morey
Publisher: Books on Tape
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Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History From the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award, a brilliant biography of Gen. George Armstrong Custer that radically changes our view of the man and his turbulent times. In this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer's legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer's historical caricature, revealing a volatile, contradictory, intense person-capable yet insecure, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (he was court-martialed twice in six years). The key to understanding Custer, Stiles writes, is keeping in mind that he lived on a frontier in time. In the Civil War, the West, and many areas overlooked in previous biographies, Custer helped to create modern America, but he could never adapt to it. He freed countless slaves yet rejected new civil rights laws. He proved his heroism but missed the dark reality of war for so many others. A talented combat leader, he struggled as a manager in the West. He tried to make a fortune on Wall Street yet never connected with the new corporate economy. Native Americans fascinated him, but he could not see them as fully human. A popular writer, he remained apart from Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, and other rising intellectuals. During Custer's lifetime, Americans saw their world remade. His admirers saw him as the embodiment of the nation's gallant youth, of all that they were losing; his detractors despised him for resisting a more complex and promising future. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation in Custer's tumultuous marriage to his highly educated wife, Libbie; their complicated relationship with Eliza Brown, the forceful black woman who ran their household; as well as his battles and expeditions. It casts surprising new light on a near-mythic American figure, a man both widely known and little understood.

Author(s): T.J. Stiles
Original Publish Date: Oct 27, 2015

All formats/editions

Author(s): T.J. Stiles
Product Number EB00592790
Released: Oct 27, 2015
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: #9781101875841

Professional reviews

"This biography of George Armstrong Custer's up-and-down life is narrated by Arthur Morey. The general's famous final battle with the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne at Little Big Horn is only an epilogue in Stiles's book. Other aspects of Custer's life--two court martials, campaigning with Andrew Johnson, and a stint at horse breeding--were less than glorious. But this is a serious biography, so Arthur Morey doesn't dish with malicious delight at Custer's romantic liaisons and gambling habit. Morey reads with a steady clarity that lets Custer come alive through documents of the period. At the same time, the book thoroughly examines the national atmosphere that led to a historic ne'er-do-well's ultimate defeat. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"

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