Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors

Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors

by Stephen E. Ambrose, Gonzalez


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The full story of what led Crazy Horse and Custer to that fateful day at the Little Bighorn, from bestselling historian Stephen E. Ambrose.
On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611  U.S. Army soldiers rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle.  The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer of the Seventh Cavalry. Both were men of aggression and supreme courage. Both had become leaders in their societies at very early ages; both had been stripped of power, and in disgrace had worked to earn back the respect of their people. And to both of them, the unspoiled grandeur of the Great Plains of North America was an irresistible challenge. Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385479660
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1996
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 87,117
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 10.86(h) x 1.19(d)

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose was the author or co-author of more than thirty books on military affairs and foreign policy. Early in his career he was an associate editor of The Eisenhower Papers, and he later went on to publish the definitive, three-part biography of Eisenhower, as well as many bestselling books of military history, including Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage. He died in 2002.

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1936

Date of Death:

October 13, 2002

Place of Birth:

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi


B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Louisiana State University, 1958; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963

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Crazy Horse and Custer 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Mscore23 More than 1 year ago
Crazy Horse and Custer weaves together the story of two men who came from very different backgrounds to meet at one historic battle. I had not read much about American Indians prior to this and was fascinated by the stories about their culture, hero’s and spirituality. Unfortunately this book also documents a time in American history that shows some of the atrocities of the U.S. Government and how they took advantage of the situation. This book is a learning experience told through great storytelling. Stephen Ambrose had a great talent for weaving together historical facts into a story that reads like a novel. It was an enjoyable journey from beginning to end and has prompted an interest beyond the book to go visit the sites and places these events took place at. As one last note, I also found this book interesting as a narrative on manhood. This book looks at the lives of two boys, who became admired men in their culture, and tells us how they got there, what motivated them and the people around them who influenced them in different ways. Boys, men and fathers may find interesting bits of wisdom hidden in these pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The previous reviewer summed it up very well. Ambrose also does an excellent job of conveying the political climate of the time and the overwhelming desire of the U.S. Government to realize its Manifest Destiny. Extensively researched, Ambrose also opens a window for the reader into the life of the Souix during the Indian Wars. Neither pro-Government nor pro-Native American, Ambrose allows the reader to make his/her determination as to the rights and the wrongs in the struggle for dominion over the Plains.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was nice because it filled in a lot of what I din't know about Crazy Horse. A great book for anyone who is interested in these two men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoed immensly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be required reading in high school. The story goes indepth about the life of Chief Crazy Horse and General Custer. More than a biography it shows the struggles of the American Indians and the politics of the US Goverment. I decided to read the book because I was interested in Custer, but I became a fan of Chief Crazy Horse. Much research was done in writing the book. The story is very exciting and will hold your attention. You will not be able to put the book down. This is a book worth reading! A+++++
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second book by Ambrose that I have read. He does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting Crazy Horse's and Custer's lives. He builds the feeling of despair that the Sioux must have felt as they realized that their homeland would not much longer be theirs. He describes Custers rashness so clearly that it is plain to see how he orchestrated his own demise. Don't pass this one up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Compares and contrasts Custer and Crazy Horse. Definitely have more respect for the people of those times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
harryo100 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book a must read if you are interested in the progress of America.Ambrose does it again after "Undaunted Courage". His descriptions of the land,buffalo and the main characters make you feel like you are right there. You feel Crazy Horse's hopelessness at the end of an era.Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was well researched and written. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has a love of the West, Custer and Crazy Horse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book to read. It was filled with information about the Sioux Indians and Custer. It is a must book to read if you are interested in the relationship between the US Army and the Sioux Indians.
drbowser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen Ambrose is my absolute favorite author. I'm not wild about WW2 history but I've read most of his books of that era because they were written by him, and great. My very favorite books are Ambrose's books about the west.How could you not enjoy "Undaunted Courage" or "Nothing Like it in the World"?The idea of a dual biography is interesting and works very well. It is easy to guess that after reading the book I admire Crazy Horse more and Custer less. The book really seems to be thorough and accurate and definitely a joy to read.I am embarrassed how our country treated the American Indians and the natural resources but the migration across our continent has made us into what we are today.Several years ago I was able to stand by a rock where William Clark's signature is still visible above the Yellowstone River, northeast of Billing's Montana. I took in the view of the incredible landscape and closed my eyes, trying to imagine the herds of buffalo and elk that lived there 200 years ago. It was a moving experience. Books such as this give me a glimpse of what life must have been like in that time. It also explains part of why I live in "the last frontier" of Alaska, even though our existence is very civilized we live on the edges of the wilderness. As for the book, I heartily recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ASC75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Crazy Horse and Custer by Ambrose is an excellent book that brings clarity and depth to these characters. Crazy Horse is portrayed as heroic in an impossible situation while Custer is seen as the seriously flawed perpetrator of failed American Indian policy. Ambrose delves into the personal lives of Crazy Horse and Custer and peppers the narrative with superlative anecdotes. The image of Custer shooting his horse while chasing a buffalo is memorable.
Smiley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just OK dual biography that suffers from too much already written on Custer and little more than an outline, coupled with informed speculation about Crazy Horse. "Son of the Morning Star" by Evan S. Connell is a better book on a similar subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was an area of American history in which I was somewhat weak in my "armchair historian" studies, and I am grateful for the extensive research and engaging style that Ambrose brings to every subject about which he chooses to write. Well worth reading! Every American citizen should make an effort to understand our history, "warts and all," to know how we got here and the cost of the process.
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Zed1955 More than 1 year ago
Great history. Sad, but compelling story. This is the history we weren't taught in school. Very informative.
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