The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

By Nathaniel Philbrick

Recommended on: 31st August 2020

The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Barb and her Hero Hubby Phil were driving through Montana last week and happened to spot signs for the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Next thing you know, the intrepid duo had parked their little trailer and were off to spend a blistering hot day exploring the battlefield.  In some sense, the Little Big Horn Monument is like an action-packed cemetery, with clusters of gravestones marking the spot of bodies as the battle swept through the gullies and hillsides. But just roaming the hillsides wasn’t enough—they had to learn more.

Enter Nathaniel Philbrick’s extraordinary The Last Stand.  From the very first pages, this exquisitely written book pulls you into the world of bad guys (if Custer’s premeditated attacks on a peaceful Native American villages don’t qualify him as a bad guy, nothing would), good guys like the extraordinary leader Sitting Bull, and everyone in between. The Last Stand gives a tremendous sense of the injustice and inequities experienced by Native Americans around the time of the first US Centennial in 1876. But it also gives a broad sense of place and time thanks to Philbrick’s extraordinary way with words. (Philbrick has won the National Book Award and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.)  This is a rare, hard-to-put-down masterpiece. Enjoy!