Custerology (Nonfiction) Michael A. Elliott (University of Chicago Press, $25), Hardcover.

 

book-reviews_custerology_custer_battle-little-bighorn_michael-a-elliottThis is not another biography of Custer but instead is a work attempting to explain why the Battle of the Little Bighorn still resonates with people today.

Michael A. Elliott coins the term “Custerology” to encompass all aspects of the endless Custer myths—books, movies, TV, paintings, buffs (and their organizations), commemorations and battle re-enactments. Elliott views the Little Bighorn fight as the result of political conflicts, not the traditionally-held “clash of cultures.” Bad analogies between the Indian Wars and Vietnam/Iraq are annoying, and the force feeding of Elliott’s gimmicky “Custerology”?instead of the reliable “Custeriana” are both reasons enough to throw this book out the window.?The slow going of Elliott’s work is lightened by his travelogues of his visits to Custer’s hometown, the Black Hills, the Washita River and the Little Bighorn.

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