The death of George Armstrong Custer ended the life of one of the most flamboyant, brave, careless, and fascinating characters to ever wear a United States military uniform. His dramatic rise during the Civil War to the brevet rank of brigadier general at twenty-three, and his uncanny ability to stay alive regardless of how recklessly he flung himself at the enemy, gave rise to his image as an almost mythical figure. His life was filled with such good fortune that the term "Custer's Luck" was used to refer to an unusually fortuitous event. Road to Disaster examines Custer's unusual mental and emotional make-up, which played out in his military career, his relationship with his wife, and in the death he and many of his men found at the end of their march into Montana. A clearer picture of the man appears, providing answers as to why military success followed him to the top of his career, and why the Battle of the Little Bighorn became such a shocking disaster in the summer of 1876.
"He rose to the Army's pinnacles at age 23, earning him the endearing title "boy general". But Mr. Sullivan says there's more to it than high rank at young age. George Armstrong Custer's boyhood - impetuous, rash, carefree, even rebellious - never disappeared, molding the icon's battle successes and failures, most notably his last hurrah at the Little Big Horn. Was it all foreordained? A provocative read, this road to disaster invites you to be the judge."
Richard Allan Fox, author, Archaeology, History, and Custer's Last Battle
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An insightful retelling of an infamous event. The author portrays Custer as neither an hero nor a villain but rather as a combination of both. The examination of Custer's military career and his personal life is nicely balanced. The author offers explanations for many of Custer's outrageous and often self-defeating actions. The description of Custer's relationship with his wife reveals a couple totally consumed by passion. However, often Custer's inability to put aside that passion when forced to make rational decisions indicates a juvenile mindset bordering on obsession. While the author does not deny that Custer was a egoistic, reckless glory-seeker, he also recognizes him as a complex but flawed man who deserves both admiration and contempt. I found this book to be written in a manner that is informative yet entertaining. I would recommend it to the casual reader as well as those who seriously study The Battle of the Little Big Horn.
A very thoroughly researched, yet very personal look at the life and ultimate end of George Armstrong Custer. It is interesting to see the development of the young warrior, Custer's Luck, his winning the hand of his beautiful wife, his mistakes and youthful errors. A book worth reading for anyone wishing a detailed look at the life and what ultimately lead to the death of George Armstrong Custer.
I bought this book from Amazon and read it in one day , there are many mistakes but just to name 2 that the author should have known. 1) The famous photograph with Custer and his Grizzley. The other officer in the photo is not Captain Thomas Custer it is Captain William Ludlow. This photograph has been in many books and all the men id. 2) Custer did make it to the top of the hill at Little Big Horn. Read the Custer Casualties volume one and two, both books are about the dead and the burials. When Sgt Ryan was digging a grave for Sgt Vikory a dear friend, a few feet down from the top of the hill , he was told the grave would be good for George and Tom. So Custer was carried a few feet down the Hill and buried. Years later the top of the hill was leveled off and the monument was placed there. The author goes out of his way to defend Benteen and Reno. Captain Benteen had a written order to come to Custer via Martini, and a verbal order sent by Sgt Kanipe of C troop. The author blows...
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