book re­views

Pasatiempo - - Book Reviews -

re­la­tions and his clashes with Ben­teen, Reno, and many other mil­i­tary per­son­nel, Philbrick slowly and art­fully leads the read­ers to the main event.

In Philbrick’s book, there are no win­ners. The Lakota, who caused the biggest loss to the U.S. Army’s Western ex­pan­sion, cel­e­brated a Pyrrhic vic­tory — they won the bat­tle but, at least by the time of Wounded Knee (1890), lost the war and their way of life. Nei­ther are there any he­roes — the par­tic­i­pants are too in­con­sis­tent and flawed. Custer, for in­stance, is at one time seen as a peace-seek­ing emis­sary and at an­other as a mil­i­tary ego­ma­niac out for re­venge and for per­sonal glory. Philbrick mas­ter­fully retells the events lead­ing up to and in­clud­ing the bat­tle in The Last Stand; it is good to have yet an­other book about Custer and the Lit­tle Bighorn.

— To­mas Jaehn Nathaniel Philbrick gives a talk about “The Last Stand: Custer, Sit­ting Bull, and the Bat­tle of the Lit­tle Bighorn” at 6 p.m. on Mon­day, May 24, at the School for Ad­vanced Re­search, 660 Gar­cia St. The event takes place in the SAR Board­room and is spon­sored by Gar­cia Street Books. The $30 price of ad­mis­sion in­cludes a signed copy of the book and ben­e­fits SAR; call 986-0151 for more in­for­ma­tion. Philbrick also gives a pre­sen­ta­tion at 7 p.m. Tues­day, May 25, at Book­works, 4022 Río Grande Blvd. N.W., Al­bu­querque; call 505-344-8139.

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