The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota
The saga of ?Custer?s Last Stand? has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players?Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer?have grown to larger-than-life proportions. Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall presents the revisionist view of the Battle of the Little Bighorn that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. Drawing on this rich source of storytelling, Marshall uncovers what really took place at the Little Big Horn and provides fresh insight into the significance of that bloody day.
America's westward expansion in the 19th century was far from a foregone conclusion to the thousands of indigenous peoples, whose ancient way of life lay in its path. Historian Marshall (The Journey of Crazy Horse; The Lakota Way), who was born on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation and has long chronicled the traditions and perspective of the Great Plains tribes, explains the context and the painful aftermath of this major turning point in his people's history. His careful description of the Greasy Grass Fight of 1876 (or the Battle of the Little Bighorn) overturns the popular misconception that the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors' victory over the U.S. Seventh Cavalry was a "fluke" or, worse still, "a massacre." Yet he also registers the enormity of the change that followed including forced settlement, assimilation and dependency when Crazy Horse surrendered his rifle to a U.S. Army officer less than a year later. Chapters alternately emphasizing strategy, weaponry, beliefs, lifestyle and other areas lend a fractured quality and some redundancy to the narrative. But Marshall's thoughtful reflections and rich detail (much of it drawn from the oral stories of unidentified Lakota elders) also immerse the reader in the experience of a once free people wrestling with an uncertain destiny.