Paul Andrew Hutton, editor, |
The Custer Reader
(University of Nebraska Press, 1992;
University of Oklahoma Press, 2004)
George Armstrong Custer has been the subject of scores of books and articles and not a few films. He has been portrayed as a great hero and as the ultimate villain.
Paul Andrew Hutton, professor of history at the University of New Mexico and executive director of the Western History Association, has made the task of seeking information about this complex figure considerably easier for the general reader by assembling a substantial source in one volume.
The Custer Reader gathers first-person narratives, essays, photographs and even a bit of fiction to help us sort out insights into the life and legend of this controversial historical figure. Whether seen as the victim of the Little Big Horn, the villain of the Washita massacre or, simply, another romantic character of the Wild West, there's something more to learn about Custer in the pages of this book.
The book is divided into four main sections, each dealing with an aspect of Custer's life -- the Civil War, the Indian Wars, Little Big Horn and the Custer myth. The text is drawn from Custer's own writing, that of contemporaries (including some Native Americans) and scholars. There's even a chapter on the Hollywood version.
Whether you admire or despise Custer, the casual reader will find something of interest in this compilation. For the serious student of Custer and his times, it comprises a virtual treasure trove.