Custer's trials : a life on the frontier of a new America
210707s2016 nyuab g b 001 0beng d
|aStiles, T. J.
|aCuster's trials :|ba life on the frontier of a new America /|cT.J. Stiles.
|aA life on the frontier of a new America
|a1st Vintage Books ed.
|aNew York :|bVintage Books,|c2016.
|axxi, 582 p. :|bill., maps ;|c25 cm.
|aIncludes bibliographical references (p. -552) and index.
|aIn this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer's legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer's historical caricature, revealing a capable yet insecure man, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (court-martialed twice in six years) and the new corporate economy, a wartime emancipator who rejected racial equality. Stiles argues that, although Custer was justly noted for his exploits on the western frontier, he also played a central role as both a wide-ranging participant and polarizing public figure in his extraordinary, transformational time--a time of civil war, emancipation, brutality toward Native Americans, and, finally, the Industrial Revolution--even as he became one of its casualties. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation. It casts surprising new light on one of the best-known figures of American history, a subject of seemingly endless fascination.
|aCuster, George A.|q(George Armstrong),|d1839-1876.
From the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, a brilliant new biography of Gen. George Armstrong Custer that radically changes our view of the man and his turbulent times.In this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer’s legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer’s historical caricature, revealing a volatile, contradictory, intense person—capable yet insecure, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (he was court-martialed twice in six years).The key to understanding Custer, Stiles writes, is keeping in mind that he lived on a frontier intime. In the Civil War, the West, and many areas overlooked in previous biographies, Custer helped to create modern America, but he could never adapt to it. He freed countless slaves yet rejected new civil rights laws. He proved his heroism but missed the dark reality of war for so many others. A talented combat leader, he struggled as amanager in the West. He tried to make a fortune on Wall Street yet never connected with the new corporate economy. Native Americans fascinated him, but he could not see them as fully human. A popular writer, he remained apart from Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, and other rising intellectuals. During Custer’s lifetime, Americans saw their world remade. His admirers saw him as the embodiment of the nation’s gallant youth, of all that they were losing; his detractors despised him for resisting a more complex and promising future. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation in Custer’s tumultuous marriage to his highly educated wife, Libbie; their complicated relationship with Eliza Brown, the forceful black woman who ran their household; as well as his battles and expeditions. It casts surprising new light on a near-mythic American figure, a man both widely known and little understood.From the Hardcover edition.
T. J. STILES is the author of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, winner of the 2009 National Book Award in Nonfiction and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Biography, and Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. A member of the Society of American Historians and a former Guggenheim fellow, he lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and two children.From the Hardcover edition.