Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer

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U of Nebraska Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 540 pages
3 Reviews
For more than a century, Americans have been captivated by the legend of General George Armstrong Custer. But the various truths of Custer?s life and last stand prove elusive. Why are we so taken with the myth and the so-called mystery behind the man?

In a field teeming with highly partisan and wildly speculative treatments of Custer, Louise Barnett enters with a volume widely acclaimed by both military and cultural historians as the most balanced account of his life and legend. Custer's life spans two great eras of American history, and Barnett's commanding work pushes beyond the existing literature to a comprehensive view of this controversial figure.

  

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A true compliment to the lexicon for those well-versed in Custerworks, but not a great place to begin one's exploration. Builds on the foundation of Custer's relationship with Libbie and as a result explores much that typical works pass by, dealing with such issues as day-to-day life on the plains, the life of army wives of the times, and Libbie's subsequent 57 years without her knight in shining armor. Not among the best of the Custer catalog, but an intriguing and sometimes provocative addition to the fold. 

Review: Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer

User Review  - Holly - Goodreads

Loved Matt's comprehensive review. I found myself wanting more about decisions made in battle, and more detail on Little Bighorn, maybe a Native American's account. I thought Barnett's conclusions ... Read full review

Contents

Contents
1
Recovery
20
Victory on the Washita
147
Save the Last Bullet for Your Wife
167
Libbie and Autie or A Companionable Wife
186
The Great Buffalo Hunt
205
Heroes of the Plains
220
Farther West
236
Survivors
309
Mystery
331
Endless Devotion
351
Literary Careers
363
Monuments
373
Aging
389
Epilogue Custer Forever
398
Acknowledgments
413

1876
247
Prelude
253
The Little Bighorn
274
Bibliography
496
Index
525
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Louise Barnett is a professor of English and American studies at Rutgers University and the author of a number of books, including The Ignoble Savage: American Literary Racism, 1790?1890, and Ungentlemanly Acts: The Army?s Notorious Incest Trial.

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