Read Crazy Horse And Custer: The Parallel Lives Of Two American Warriors by Stephen E. Ambrose Free Online
Book Title: Crazy Horse And Custer: The Parallel Lives Of Two American Warriors|
The author of the book: Stephen E. Ambrose
ISBN 13: 9780385096669
Edition: Doubleday Books
Date of issue: 1975
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 543 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1990 times
Reader ratings: 5.2
Read full description of the books:
Chief Crazy Horse gave native Americans one of its few moments of triumph in its struggle with the white settlers, who in the mid-19th century moved across the country, shot the buffalo, and built a railroad which would make the Western tide ever more inexorable. “Custer’s last stand” achieved mythic proportions, and it firmed up US resolve to finish the Indian problem once and for all. Within a few years, the reservation system was firmly in place.
I personally don’t usually like reading descriptions of battles. The question of which troop is approaching from the South, or which troop is separated from its base, make my eyes glaze over. These were not my favorite parts of this book, either, but they are necessary. And the chapters about politics (e.g., the broken treaty in the Black Hills) and about the people (e.g., Crazy Horse resisting confinement) – these were really good stuff.
Custer made several mistakes in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Notably, he failed to account for his troops’ fatigue. I was intrigued by the fact that he may have rushed the assault because he wanted a victory before the Democratic Convention in the summer of 1876. A victory could have given him the nomination, for this was a country which had often elected military heroes to its highest office.
Stephen Ambrose found much in common between Crazy Horse and Custer. They were both people of extraordinary energy and of special standing in their respective cultures. Ambrose finds much to admire in both. Crazy Horse, so successful in battle, was to die only a year later in tragic circumstances. Ambrose understood how profoundly sad was Crazy Horse’s ultimate capitulation.
It turns out that my knowledge of the Indian politics of the mid- and late-19th centuries was woefully thin, and I learned a lot from “Crazy Horse and Custer.”
Here are three of the concepts Ambrose taught me more firmly:
• The Sioux could not simultaneously be free and be effective soldiers. They chose to remain free. To have mounted a sustained campaign (which stood a very good chance of being successful), they would have had to delegate real authority and to organize themselves. They stuck stubbornly to their hunting life, even as some of their number began to want the things that white men offered to “agency” Indians, things such as coffee and sugar.
• Whites destroyed the good hunting essential to the Plains Indians. Grass was trampled by emigrant stock and the great buffalo herds were eliminated. The loss of food source was a powerful persuader to drive the Indians to ultimately give in to the white man.
• At one time there were serious U.S. peace policies and, certainly, members of Congress who wished not to fight the Indians. But peace efforts were seriously underfunded. Another misconception: the government did not understand that Indians did not want to be part of the great American melting pot.
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