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RED HAWK'S ACCOUNT OF CUSTER'S LAST BATTLE by Paul Goble Kirkus Star

RED HAWK'S ACCOUNT OF CUSTER'S LAST BATTLE

By Paul Goble

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1970
ISBN: 080327033X
Publisher: Pantheon

Painted-robe figures charge across spacious white pages as Red Hawk, a stand-in for those who were there, tells of the Battle of Little Bighorn: "Why had the soldiers come to kill us? I was only a boy and did not understand but I felt like a man and I did not care whether I lived or died." The "why," such as it was, is provided at the outset; italicized insertions explain what "Red Hawk" would not have known or thought to tell. As a dramatized reconstruction this has immediate visual and narrative impact but beyond the event there lingers a sense of honor (those who "say that the soldiers were drunk" or cowardly were not there, "I never saw such brave men") and particularly of pride mingled with regret: "We won a great victory. But when you look about you today you can see that it meant little. The White Men, who were then few, have spread over the earth like fallen leaves driven before the wind." From the picture map on the title page to the lists of sources and suggested readings, an unusual volume that is at once handsome, stirring and historically anchored (and thus worth the trouble of being unusual).