Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier
George Armstrong Custer. The name evokes instant recognition in almost every American and in people around the world. No figure in the history of the American West has more powerfully moved the human imagination.
When originally published in 1988, Cavalier in Buckskin met with critical acclaim. Now Robert M. Utley has revised his best-selling biography of General George Armstrong Custer. In his preface to the revised edition, Utley writes about his summers (1947-1952) spent as a historical aide at the Custer Battlefield-as it was then known-and credits the work of several authors whose recent scholarship has illuminated our understanding of the events of Little Bighorn. He has revised or expanded chapters, added new information on sources, and revised the map of the battlefield.
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A tour de force among the sheer mountain of Custer biographies. Utley, one of the foremost scholars of history of the American West, spent many years with the National Park Service, beginning in his twenties as an aide at the Custer Battlefield and eventually rising to chief historian of the NPS. It shows in this masterpiece. He presents a thorough and scrupulously balanced depiction of Custer the man and the life events that led to his transformation into Custer the metaphor, every page a fascinating read.
Cavalier in Buckskin achieves the all-too-rarely-attained pinnacle of written history: meticulous factual detail in symbiosis with well-crafted and concise, captivating reading. An important read for Custerphiles and a perfect point of embarkation for Custer neophytes.
Note: I read the original version, not the revised edition.