Publishers Weekly...Custer Survivor

January 22, 2010 — Print this Page

January 22, 2010

For decades, Custer’s “Last Stand” at Little Big Horn has captured the American imagination. Remembered by some as the tragic result of imperialist policies and by others as a noble sacrifice for American expansion, the one thing everyone learns in school is that Custer’s battle against Lakota and Cheyenne forces left no Americans alive. In this chronicle of meticulous research, handwriting analysis and document investigation, journalist Koster turns that myth on its ear: though a number of people claim to have fought at (and survived) Little Big Horn, Koster identifies the one reluctant claimant who actually did-Sergeant Frank Finkel of Company C. A carefully deconstructed historical mystery sure to thrill American history enthusiasts, Koster’s narrative and methods are entirely transparent, presenting all the information and leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. Though Finkel’s story isn’t particularly dramatic, Koster’s pursuit of the truth behind a great American myth makes for a compelling tale in itself.

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