THE BATTLE OF LITTLE BIGHORN by Mari Sandoz

THE BATTLE OF LITTLE BIGHORN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An installment in the Great Battles Series, Miss Sandoz' version of Custer's last stand relies solely on testimony. She never gives us the display piece with Custer and his troops fighting it out with Crazy Horse and going down man by man, and she doesn't because there were no survivors. (Recent books have recapitulated Sioux legends which described the massacre from the Indians' viewpoint, and Thomas Berger's comic novel Little Big Man had a field day with an ""on the spot"" report.) Nor does Miss Sandoz paint Custer as quite the towering megalomaniac that others have seen. She keeps mainly to his political motivations (he wanted to be President) and skirts the psychiatric. But that he was psycho is as clear as a hoof in the mouth. Several chapters cover in detail the ancillary battles of Custer's split forces, and the shining hatred many of his men had for his tricky behavior. Readers will be befogged occasionally trying to locate their position on the field, but in a literary sense this is beautifully written and at times unflinchingly grim with maggoty observation.

Pub Date: June 29th, 1966
Publisher: Lippincott