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Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn Paperback – 1 Jan 1985


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Paperback, 1 Jan 1985
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Perennial Library, Harper & Row (1 Jan. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060970030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060970031
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,660,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Impressive in its massive presentation of information . . . "Son of the Morning Star "makes good reading--its prose is elegant, its tone the voice of dry wit, its meandering narrative skillfully crafted. Mr. Connell is above all a storyteller, and the story he tells is vastly more complicated than who did what to whom on June 25, 1876."--Page Stenger, "The New York Times Book Review" ""Son of the Morning Star" leaves the reader astonished."--"The Washington Post" "A scintillating book, thoroughly researched and brilliantly constructed."--"The Wall Street Journal " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Evan S. Connell has received numerous prizes and awards for his writing and is the author of sixteen books of fiction, poetry, essays, and history, including "Mr. Bridge, Mrs. Bridge, The Diary of a Rapist, The Alchymist's Journal," and "The Collected Stories." He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book if interested in the history of 19th century America particularly Indian Wars - a sad but exciting period in the development of that great country.
I would say the made for TV movie based on the book is a must too.
A modern [the american military thought so at the time] army comes up against indigenous people who decided to fight albeit in a way that confused and belittled the armies tactics based on the recent Civil war.
The old adage never divide your forces without knowing the terrain and extent of your enemies forces and their willingness to fight.
Sitting Bulls dreams foresaw Indian victory - how could they lose.
However there was only one winner in the end and America's industrial might and their revenge for General Custer death and the defeat of the 7th cavalry defeat saw an end to the way of life of the plains indians.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jumbled yes, but if you cut to just Custer and the Little Bighorn battle then it's quite a good read that certainly kept me interested. My only gripe would be some (in fact many) statements made by the author quote various 'witnesses' but he does not give the source of the information. Just how accurate those statements are is hard to judge in this book alone.
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By Chris McKeefry on 17 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 156 reviews
127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Jumbled, Yet Fascinating Look At Custer and the Indian Wars 19 July 2000
By Wayne A. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Evan Connell has written a powerful book. It is a balanced presentation of George Armstrong Custer, the post-Civil War Indian Wars, Plains Indians and the myth of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Facts abound. I started this book thinking it would primarily focus on Gen. Custer and the fight. While those topics are the framework of the book, Connell spends quite a bit of time exploring various indian chiefs, indian practices, previous conflicts and the conditions that produced one of our country's most celebrated battles. First person quotes are abundent and the author usually produces two or more sides to every episode. These explorations underscore how difficult getting at a true history is, particulary when pride and ego rest on a particular telling of an event. He has done very good research.
This is a brutal book. American and indian savagry are laid bare. Warfare and existence on the frontier were not pretty. The "rules" of war were abandoned by both sides with regard to the taking of prisoners or the frequent butchering of women and children along with those unlucky enough to be in the path of maurading soldiers or indian bands. Connell's book leaves no doubt that American notions of racial superiority, mainfest destiny and economics created the situation in which the indians would fight in the extreme to protect their lands from white encroachment. However, the author also underscores that most of the indian tribes were brutal and ruthless when attacking other tribes, lone indians and in their own rituals and customs. Had America respected it's indian treaties, it can be argued that the indian lands still would have had atrocities visited upon them as various tribes concentrated their full time attentions on settling the wrongs each felt had been metted out by other red men. His refusal to treat the indian as a politically correct manifestation of mother nature is refreshing and allows for a very balanced telling of the story.
The author has a unique writing style. He doesn't come to a fork in the road without taking it. These side tracks and tangents allow him to explore in full the charactors and milieu attendent to The Last Stand. However, they are presented in no particular order or chronology. The author paints a strong impression rather than presenting an ordered and structured telling of a compelling tale. This incohesion is so pronounced that the end of a chapter has no meaning other than to allow one to catch one's breath before plunging into the next twenty pages of free associations.
My opinion of this book changed several times during my reading. In the beginning, I found it hard to get into because of it's meandering style. But the vignettes, characters, facts and writing are all compelling. His style will require some adjustment to the frequent reader of history. But, by the end the reader will know that they have immersed themselvs in a darn good story that fascinates.
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Aimless journey through an American legend 10 Nov. 2001
By Pete Agren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Connell has one of the most unorthodox writing styles of any history writer I've read but somehow it works brilliantly. A proper chronological order is completely disregarded and Connell jumps all over the place, yet somehow is able to keep the reader right along with him. It reminds me of listening to an old Vet tell war stories and finish half a story and skip to something completely unrelated again and again and again until you can't remember where he originally started the conversation from. Yet, just like listening to the proud hero tell his tales, it is completely fascinating and you will hang on every word.
A prime example of this is within the first ten pages of the book, Connell is writing about President Hayes' Court of Inquiry, three years AFTER the battle.
Another thing which Connell does masterfully is tell BOTH sides of the tale. The Dakota and 7th Cavalry are given equal weight throughout the book and the author pours pertinent information as well as trivial but entertaining facts at the reader. And along with giving biographies on Reno and Benteen, the reader learns just as much background information on Gall, Crazy Horse and Two Moon.
About the only person I suggest shy away from this book is a college student cramming for a paper because there's no way they'd be able to find the needed info with Connell's writing style. However, if they don't procrastinate and began reading at the beginning of the semester, I promise you won't find another book with more info on the subject.
-Warning-
If you do read "Son of the Morning Star," be prepared to take a trip out to the high plains of Montana to see the battlefield. Connell's book instilled a 'must-see' desire into me on having to see the Bighorn for myself and I plan to go next summer. See you there!
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
THIS IS IT! 21 Aug. 1999
By Morgan Sjoberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about Custer, Little Big Horn and the plains indian wars, but this one is truly the very best of the lot. Connell has given us an exellent biography of Custer, but we also get to know such men as Major Reno and Captain Benteen. Indians such as Sitting Bull, Gall and Crazy Horse are also prominently featured in this treasure of a book. This is so much more than a book about Custer and his last stand at Little Big Horn river in 1876. It's a book about the whole drama, that is the conquering of the west. Also, the photo section is exellent and the bibliography is unparalelled. Two very good maps helps the reader follow the movements in the 1876 indian campaign. If You're gonna buy just one book about the American west, please choose "Son Of The Morning Star". It's history, for sure, but it's not boring. It's also a source book in the best sence of the word, not to mention a literary masterpiece. Connell is a novelist, and it shows in his quick and precise eye for charaters in the play and their often peculiar behavior and actions. The heroes and/or villains is only so human in this highly entertaining book that leaves the reader wanting more. I have so far never read a better book, fact or fiction. Why don't You read it too?
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A GOOD OBJECTIVE LOOK AT A WESTERN LEGEND 31 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like many historic events of the nineteenth century--especially those of a tragic nature--the events that took place at The Little Bighorn were shrouded for decades in sensationalism to a greater or lesser degree. Misconceptions and inaccuracies have abounded as the story of Custer and his ill-fated troops has been told and retold in print and on the big screen.
I was looking for a book that would go a long way in providing an objective view of the events surrounding The Battle of the Little Bighorn and found such a book in Son of the Morning Star.
Evan S. Connell does a masterful job of telling the story. He provides excellent background history and tells how information, or the lack thereof, available to Custer at the time may have contributed to his ultimate demise. Arrogance and racism have long been attributed to Custer's disastrous campaign but Connell helps paint probably the most accurate and objective portrait of the colorful general to date. Custer was arrogant but Connell shows that there was much more to the story.
A great read!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
And now the rest of the story 6 Jun. 2000
By Doug Vaughn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Evan Connell's Son of the Morning Star is a masterful book that defies catagorization. It isn't quite history but it isn't fiction either. Connell has taken a mountain of historical detail, including quotations from letters, transcripts, newspapers and interviews, and arranged them in a kind of narrative montage that gives us the story of Custer at the Little Bighorn in a more complete way than we have ever experienced it before. His book begins a couple of days after the battle - when Custer's absence is still unexplained - with the discovery of the remains of Custer's troop. The realization of what they are seeing comes slowly to the soldiers that find the bodies, just as the big picture of what happened comes slowly to the reader - detail by detail.
The book is full of wonderful digressions, told in the same way as the main story. These provide background information on all the major participants (Indian as well as cavalry officers) and many minor characters as well, and the story of their lives following the massacre and the inevitable search for a scapegoat.
This is a unique and beautiful book. Connell seems to have lived with the research for this book for a long time because he has internalized it beautifully and knows just what quotes and anecdotes to juxtapose in order to create the picture he wants. I can't remember ever reading anything quite like this and certainly seldom have a book match it for emotional impact. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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