Raymond Seitz

Riding Into The Sky

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

By

The Bodley Head 466pp £20 order from our bookshop

The parallels are uncanny. Though continents apart, only two and a half years separated George Armstrong Custer’s calamity at the Little Big Horn in June 1876 and Lord Chelmsford’s disaster at Isandhlwana in January 1879. The terrains were similar: vast, rolling grasslands crisscrossed by deep, interlacing ravines, which easily deceived the eye and concealed the enemy. Both leaders committed the military sin of dividing their forces in hostile territory without knowing the disposition or size of their opponents. Both were lackadaisical about what little intelligence they received.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,