The Battle of the Little Big Horn, also known as 'Custer's Last Stand,' is one of the iconic events in American history. Though it was a shocking defeat for Federal troops at the hands of Lakota Indians, it stimulated a renewed effort to conquer tribal resistance, leading to the the defeat of Lakota Chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in 1876 and of Chief Joseph's Nez Perce in 1877. In this book for the Pivotal Moments in American History series, Elliott West will place the Little Big Horn and other dramatic events of the Indian Wars in a new context. Instead of looking at the Indian campaigns simply as part of westward expansion, West sees them as part of the national story of Reconstruction. After the Civil War, the federal government expanded the definition of citizenship to include former slaves, via the 13th and 14th amendments. This expanded conception of citizenship would also be extended to Indians as the Indians transitioned from armed resistance to working within the framework of the Constitution.
Viewed from this pan-national perspective, the ambitions of Reconstruction become much more ambiguous, with idealism, liberation and expanded opportunities mixed with coercion, suppression and narrowing tolerance. The Last Indian War, like other works in the Pivotal Moments series, will embed its interpretations in a readable and compelling narrative. West's gripping story brings to life many characters from both sides of the conflict, from early Yellowstone tourists caught up in the events, to Chief Joesph, who played a key role in the fighting and its aftermath. After his military defeat, Chief Joesph went on to become one of the most eloquent spokemen for the rule of law, contitutional rights, and a larger idea of liberty and freedom in American history. The book will appeal to readers interested in Western history, but it should also have a strong market among students and historians for its distinctive new angle on the history of both the frontier and Reconstruction.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 748 g
Dimensions: 241 x 166 x 34 mm