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'The Last Stand' Sheds New Light on Custer

Boswell hosts best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick

May. 1, 2011
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Because early American history is often entangled in misinformation, modern historians are obliged to try to differentiate fact from fiction. Nathaniel Philbrick, recognized as a maritime expert following his best-selling chronicles Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, heads for land in a narrative depiction of the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn. The Last Stand, referring to “Custer's Last Stand,” is more than a rote retelling of George Custer's outrageous egotism or military expertise in the American West of the 1870s. The Last Stand is rich in its character profiles, comprehensive in its recreation of a battle that was tragic for both sides, and exhaustive in its depiction of the early American landscape and unique topography of South Dakota's Black Hills.

Much has been written about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which is still taught to schoolchildren today, but Philbrick's exhaustive research and deep analysis bring new information to light. He paints a clear literary picture of both Custer and Sitting Bull, taking great care to remain unbiased in the portrayal of both men. As with his previous releases, Philbrick's The Last Stand illustrates a highly recognizable story while managing to produce new clarity on the subject.

Philbrick began his career at Sailing World magazine, during which time he wrote and edited numerous books about the nautical world. His best-selling Mayflower was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Philbrick will appear at Boswell Book Co. on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m.


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