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A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn -- The Last Great Battle of the American Westby James Donovan
Synopses & Reviews
In June of 1876, on a desolate hill above a winding river called the Little Bighorn, George Armstrong Custer and all 210 men under his direct command were annihilated by almost 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne. The news of this devastating loss caused a public uproar, and those in positions of power promptly began to point fingers in order to avoid responsibility. Custer, who was conveniently dead, took the brunt of the blame.
The truth, however, was far more complex. A Terrible Glory is the first book to relate the entire story of this endlessly fascinating battle, and the first to call upon all the significant research and findings of the past twenty-five years — which have changed significantly how this controversial event is perceived. Furthermore, it is the first book to bring to light the details of the U.S. Army cover-up — and unravel one of the greatest mysteries in U.S. military history.
Scrupulously researched, A Terrible Glory will stand as ta landmark work. Brimming with authentic detail and an unforgettable cast of characters — from Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse to Ulysses Grant and Custer himself — this is history with the sweep of a great novel.
"In this labor of love, Donovan collects the multiple threads that led to the 1876 massacre at Little Big Horn. By the 1870s various American Indian tribes ignored the American government's edict to relocate to reservations. Growth in pioneer settlements had produced so many clashes that western commander Philip Sheridan ordered three army columns to converge on an immense Indian encampment in southern Montana Territory. Donovan's eye-opening description of these cavalrymen contradicts the Hollywood image. These troops were untrained, inexperienced in individual combat and poorly equipped. Custer, the first to encounter the enemy encampment, split his forces before attacking. This tactical error ensured that some units would survive the fighting, here described in vivid detail. Custer's last stand became the Indians', too. Though the army was happy to blame the debacle on the dead Custer, the battle's survivors banded together to ensure no reputation went tarnished in public hearings. The author makes a good case for Custer as scapegoat by portraying him as a likable Civil War hero, flamboyant publicity hound and more experienced Indian fighter than most of his men and all of his commanders,. Exhaustive research, lively prose and fresh interpretation make for a valuable addition to literature on this otherwise well-trodden historical event." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[An] excellent starting point for those seeking an understanding of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"One of the best things about A Terrible Glory is its lack of agenda: White people thought the way they thought; Indians thought the way they thought; the two ways of thought seldom came together — and Donovan is content to let it go at that." Los Angeles Times
"The Custer battle has never been as vividly and comprehensibly told as in A Terrible Glory." Dallas Morning News
"Donovan...makes good use of recent archaeological findings and many Native American descriptions of the events." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Book News Annotation:
Writer and historian Donovan informed this account of the Battle at Little Bighorn between General Custer and warriors from the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes with mainly primary sources, bringing deep research to a well-written historical narrative. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
As a literary agent over the past ten years James Donovan has sold several bestselling nonfiction titles; previous to that he was a bookstore chain buyer and a trade book editor. He has also written several books, the most recent of which was the coffee-table tome Custer and the Little Bighorn (Voyageur Press, 2001), a main selection of the Military Book Club. He lives in Dallas.
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