THE COURT-MARTIAL OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER by Douglas C. Jones

THE COURT-MARTIAL OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Custer's last, last stand. This time a witness stand, surrounded by, or imbedded in, historical data as precise and dry as any school text. The best parts are the few emotionally charged dialogues that take place in the Fort Hamilton courtroom. The worst are the attempts by the characters to think for themselves and their readers, as in these two examples from the defense counsel's ruminations: ""But George is the kind of man I actively avoid. It's sometimes a mystery to me why I accepted this case"" or ""She tosses her head. Like an unbroken mare."" There is little action outside the courtroom that isn't pure period description--who painted the French nymphs in the picture over Ned Stoakes' bar, how high the Washington monument has reached outside General Sherman's only window, etc.--and little inside that isn't pure Battle of the Little Bighorn statistics. But any civil war buff, or true fan of historical speculation, will still find the limited realization of this 'very interesting idea engaging. Though if we're voting for Custer ""fantasies"" (as Jones describes his book) Errol Flynn's still way ahead.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 159687354X
Publisher: Scribners