Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer of the Seventh Calvary, were cultural opposites, but they led uncannily parallel lives. Born at the same time, they both became leaders at very early ages, were stripped of power, and in disgrace worked to earn back the respect of their people.
Above all, Crazy Horse and Custer were men of supreme courage, natural-born leaders. On the morning of 25 June 1876, the paths of these two great men collided in an epic battle on the banks of the Little Bighorn. It was an inevitable clash between two men, two societies and two ways of life.
Set against the backdrop of the open prairie, Crazy Horse and Custer is the story of these heroes; an adventure full of bravery, military genius and pathos. Stephen E. Ambrose, the highly-acclaimed historian, skilfully brings to life this pivotal moment in the history of the Wild West.
About the Author
Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling Band Of Brothers, D-Day (on which Saving Private Ryan was based) Pegasus Bridge and Wild Blue. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in 2002.
'Movingly told and well written . . . a fine contribution, one that will be read with pleasure and admiration by general reader, student and scholar alike. Ambrose has breathed new life into the familiar facts.' Library Journal
'An epic and accurate retelling of one of our country's most tragic periods.' Baltimore Sun
'The two great warriors who led their men at Little Bighorn may have championed opposing causes, but their lives had a remarkable amount in common. Both spent idyllic childhoods, developed aggressive willpower and ambition, fell into disgrace through unlikely romances, and regained glory even stronger than before. And both were on the brink of attaining great political power before meeting ignominious deaths. Yet for all the similarities, the personalities of Sioux chief Crazy Horse and US 7th Cavalry leader General George Armstrong Custer could scarcely have been more different. And, as Stephen Ambrose reveals in this classic study first published in 1975, neither man has been represented well by Hollywood and pulp writers. Ambrose tells the story of the two in parallel chapters, from earliest childhood to death. What emerges through contemporary records and from turn-of-the-century accounts of people who knew the men is a tale that reveals much about the mindset on both sides of the pioneering divide. Custer epitomised his society's insatiable appetite for progress and expansion. His favourite phrase was, 'To promotion - or death.' If this seems to bear out the common perception of the man as a reckless gambler, then it does him no justice. Custer was an intelligent and shrewd individual with high moral values. The same can be said of Crazy Horse, who rose against the odds to lead a great people in the fight for a right to their nomadic way of life. Both Crazy Horse and Custer were noble in their respective styles. As in his bestselling books D-Day and Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose evokes a great sense of time and place and pitches his readers into the heat of battle. You can't help but take sides, and though the outcome of the biggest battle of all - Little Bighorn - is well known, Ambrose packs in a wealth of detail that is not generally known. The result is an epic tale of courage as well as a moving portrait of two great men, and it comes with stunning photographs.' Kirkus UK