Review: Crazy Horse & Custer, Stephen E. Ambrose

Rating: 5 out of 5

I had heard the name of Mr Ambrose before but I hadn’t really picked up any of his books. Mostly, this had to do with his preferred subject period — mostly the Second World War — which has not entered my reading interests at any point. However, this look into the mid-19th century proved to be a good starting point for me, and I was immediately captivated by the style employed.

The author demonstrates very good understanding of the subject but also of human psychology. Some of the ideas that he puts forward, especially on morality and understanding the past, were groundbreaking — not for their novelty, but for the simplicity of expression that Mr Ambrose managed to use.

Crazy Horse and Custer themselves, the subjects of this book, proved to be interesting and challenging people. Very similar and yet very different, the look into their lives also allowed to look into the character of the century and to highlight the faults in society which made Custer into a brave though reckless leader. The points about loss of life and whether it should have been avoided to a higher degree, especially where Custer was concerned, make for interesting thought experiments when we contrast these to the modern day.

I wholly recommend this! Either an interest in George Armstrong Custer, Crazy Horse, the Sioux, or the American 19th century society will be amply rewarded!

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