The Last Stand Audiobook | Nathaniel Philbrick | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Last Stand | [Nathaniel Philbrick]

The Last Stand

Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans' defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Nathaniel Philbrick’s brilliant book concludes with an epilogue surveying the historiographical pendulum-swing undergone by the reputation of Colonel Custer and received wisdom surrounding his fate and the battle of Little Bighorn. The Last Stand is as much an investigation into myth-making as it is a straightforward history, and Philbrick charts a course between different extremes of opinion, allowing for a three dimensional portrayal of both sides. Philbrick compares several historical accounts and while not dismissing any nor presenting a definitive revision, he clearly describes the ambiguity around different points in the story, and leaves the decision-making up to the listener’s informed imagination.

Philbrick has achieved one of two great things with this book. The first is his masterful handling of the material at his disposal, and his ability to spin the narrative thread through the build-up to Little Bighorn and the chaos and confusion of the climactic battle. With the help of George Guidall’s assured delivery, the listener never loses sight of the battle’s development, even though the author has a habit of suddenly shifting the narrative back and forth in time and pausing the action to delve into the back stories of even the most minor character.

His other achievement is to bring nuance to the experience of the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations – this is, of course, as much their story as it is of western expansionism. His depictions of Sitting Bull, as well as the trackers, warriors, wives, and daughters are all embraced into the main storyline. Hand in hand with this approach is Philbrick’s evocation of the landscape; the nautical theme of his previous books means that he can here write of the Great Plains as if he’s describing the shifting moods of the sea. Again, Guidall delivers these passages beautifully, highlighting the timelessness of the setting, and reinforcing our continued fascination with this epochal page in history.

“Hindsight makes Custer look like an egomaniacal fool,” Philbrick writes with understatement, “but...he came frighteningly close to winning the most spectacular victory of his career.” Note the use of “frighteningly” — it’s that ambiguity towards Custer’s story that gives depth to this book, a trait shared by most great histories, of which this is certainly one. —Dafydd Phillips

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Mayflower sheds new light on one of the iconic stories of the American West.

Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans' defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.

In his tightly structured narrative, Nathaniel Philbrick brilliantly sketches the two larger-than-life antagonists: Sitting Bull, whose charisma and political savvy earned him the position of leader of the Plains Indians, and George Armstrong Custer, one of the Union's greatest cavalry officers and a man with a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage.

Philbrick reminds listeners that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was also, even in victory, the last stand for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations. Increasingly outraged by the government's Indian policies, the Plains tribes allied themselves and held their ground in southern Montana. Within a few years of Little Bighorn, however, all the major tribal leaders would be confined to Indian reservations.

Throughout, Philbrick beautifully evokes the history and geography of the Great Plains with his characteristic grace and sense of drama. The Last Stand is a mesmerizing account of the archetypal story of the American West, one that continues to haunt our collective imagination.

©2010 Nathaniel Philbrick (P)2010 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (209 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.3 (111 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (109 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stanley Murfreesboro, TN, United States 06-06-11
    Stanley Murfreesboro, TN, United States 06-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "So enjoyed the re-visit to this historical battle."

    This was my second audiobook ever and I have to say I chose very well.

    In my younger years I read several books about Native Americans, Custer, and the Battle at the Little Big Horn and it was so very fascinating then.

    After reading (listening) to the "The Last Stand" the fascination and enjoyment continues now that I am older (55+).

    Mr. Philbrick has provided an excellent source into this historical period of time. Not only was he able to provide clarifications on the battle, but an insight into how the government thought and acted towards our Native American citizens.

    I commend him on this work and thank him for this A+ effort.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil San Francisco, CA, United States 09-30-12
    Neil San Francisco, CA, United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Enthralling Page Turner"

    I am more a fan or European history, but this was a fantastic book by Philbrick and perfect narrator George Guidall.This battle is not told in school, so books are the only real method to learn about the story. The author left the end of Custer up to evidence found by other survivors. Well read well written and I recommend for anyone interested in history, or war. Enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-21-12
    Janice Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-21-12 Member Since 2010

    true crime fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read - really enjoyed it; englightening"

    This book taught me a lot about "Custer's Last Stand." From previous accounts and less than complimentary movies, I always assumed Custer was an arrogant showboater who put his men in danger because of his hubris and recklessness-that was definitely part of it but there were so many more aspects to this tragedy-stupid decisions made from the beginning of the campaign and poor implementation by less than stellar officers. The fingerpointing after the battle was pathetic; no one wanted to take responsibility for their part in the failure. I have not changed my opinion about Custer but this book makes it clear that he was not the sole architect of this debacle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clinton San Diego, CA, United States 12-14-11
    Clinton San Diego, CA, United States 12-14-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great, great listen."
    If you could sum up The Last Stand in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, intelligent and interesting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Stand?

    The description of the famous battle.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His way of reading made you feel as if you were a witness to the actual events.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What probably really happened at Little Bighorn.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason OREM, UTAH, United States 05-16-13
    Jason OREM, UTAH, United States 05-16-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"
    If you could sum up The Last Stand in three words, what would they be?

    Loved the book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Stand?

    This was one of the best books I have read. A great historical read.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    George is one of the best!


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john west chester, oh, United States 05-05-13
    john west chester, oh, United States 05-05-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "custer"
    Where does The Last Stand rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    very good modern balanced treatment of events with insight into characters relationships and how this affected history


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nathaniel Philbrick? Why or why not?

    yes


    Which scene was your favorite?

    description of charaters and relationships


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard L. Pearson Boston, MA 09-13-13
    Richard L. Pearson Boston, MA 09-13-13 Member Since 2011

    musixman

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great historical read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Stand to be better than the print version?

    Philbrick has done it again. Great documentation and story telling of history. Incredible story.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.