Crazy Horse and Custer

The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors
Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
Length: 20 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (491 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 men of the US 7th Cavalry rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer. Both were men of aggression and supreme courage. Both became leaders in their societies at very early ages; both were stripped of power, in disgrace, and worked to earn back the respect of their people. And to both of them, the unspoiled grandeur of the Great Plains of North America was an irresistible challenge. Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie.

©2016 Random House Audio (P)2016 Stephen E. Ambrose

Critic Reviews

"Movingly told and well written...a fine contribution, one that will be read with pleasure and admiration by general reader, student and scholar alike. Ambrose has breathed new life into the familiar facts." ( Library Journal)
"An epic and accurate retelling of one of our country's most tragic periods." ( Baltimore Sun)

What listeners say about Crazy Horse and Custer

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  • Overall
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one of the best accounts of native American life and custom out there. would recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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Great story, full of comparison and contrast

If you could sum up Crazy Horse and Custer in three words, what would they be?

Cultural Perspectives of Freedom

What did you like best about this story?

The efforts to humanize both men, particularly Crazy Horse. It's easy to think of these legendary figures as outsized caricatures of themselves, but we get a deeper view of both.

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

He does well with individualizing voices, without going over the top, which happens all too often in this kind of audiobook.

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

I have no idea, but I'd like to have seen what Peckinpah could have done with it.

Any additional comments?

The themes of prestige and shame presented in both men, are easily extrapolated to represent their respective cultures.

5 people found this helpful

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A Fascinating, Fair Depiction of Two Heroes

It's a rare gift to be able to hear and fully understand both sides of a conflict. As a kid, I was raised with the cliche of the "brave soldier and the savage Indian". As I got older and more socially conscious, my point of view shifted to "the noble Native and the greedy government". Now, thanks to the help of this book and many like it, I have come to a balanced, nuanced understanding of these events. No Native was pure savage or pure nobility. No soldier was pure brute or pure hero. Every person and event is infinitely more complicated than we can truly understand. This book is a perfect representation of that fact.

1 person found this helpful

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Historic and entertaining.

Well written and read. Another sad chapter of American history. I need another five words.

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Evan's Review

Stephen Ambrose was a great writing this is the last of his books I read. Great insight on American West of Indians way of life and the American movement west. Also great writing of Custer and Crazy Horse life and how their way of life clashed

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Tons of detail into both men's lives

Tons of detail into both men's lives. Book was very insightful and entertaining. The narrator did a great job.

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Good Book

Learned a lot about Custer and Crazy Horse I didn't know. A little slow at first, while setting the stage but definitely picked up all the way through the end.

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Great Historic Story

Great Historic Story with lots of interesting facts. Good narrator. I learned some new facts about these famous men.

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Another great look at the history of Custer

I have read a number of these books on Custard's last stand. They are all good this book gives a different look but they all have the details.

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Very good and quite balanced

Very good, fascinating, educational, insightful, and quite balanced telling of not only the lives of Crazy Horse and Custer, but also brilliant insights and comparisons of their respective cultures...as Americans, our respective cultures.