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“The Crazy Horse and Custer” Book Essay

This book has described the lives of both Oglala Indian by name Crazy Horse and the American soldier by name Custer. The major themes of the book are the love and the war. The two had some conflicting ideas. The author of the book is describing the two warriors as concentrating on the aspects of lives that makes one successful.

The major subject of the book is to demonstrate the wounds of the impacts of war, and the cultural differences of Americans and Indians. The lives of the two warriors and their achievement are in this book until their deaths, covering the most important circumstances of their lives .

Ambrose the author of the book shows clearly the development of the lives of the two warriors, whereby they would interact and work together for a while, but in the next minute differences of their opinions arose . These two warriors are very crucial to the history and culture of American people.

Throughout the book, some important steps taken by these two warriors are discussed, as well as the various wars that were organized by both. Some of the wars especially the ones in 1866 and 1867 organized by Crazy Horse were very productive, as their main objective was to fight for the rights of his people and to ensure justice is applied.

Ambrose the author makes the book as interesting as possible as the information provided is well researched . The author is very fair when describing the two warriors as he has balanced his analysis very well. Crazy Horse is described as a courageous person full of spirit and brave. He started showing his courage in his early teenage, and towards his adulthood, he got involved in different army units.

His courageous character is an inspirational to many people as he managed to unit with his men, and achieved destruction of three different Army groups. If most of people in the history of America were as brave as Crazy Horse, there could be various positive outcomes worth celebration up to date.

The author of the book has declined many of the activities that contribute to the biography of Custer, because his main theme was to lower the white man verses red man. Although both of them are described as important warriors, the successes of Crazy Horse are more emphasized by the author than those of Custer.

The events of Custer are left unsatisfying to the readers . The achievements and the life style of Crazy Horse are described through Indian life to make readers understand it better. Although there were some other warriors who were fighting for their people, the fight of Crazy Horse was incomparable. For instance, in this book Ambrose tells us that Crazy Horse used to confess that he did not any bullet from the white people, and knew very well that the only person who could kill him is one of his people.

However, despite that, the two warriors are great according to Ambrose; the wisdom of the red man outwitted that of a white man. The only notable engagement of Custer was when he directed his men to cross the Yellow stone river country, although this battle is a minor one according to the author . The most common habit of Custer that people used to describe him is riding ahead his troop.

Whenever Custer was planning to have a battle with his rivals, he preferred to visit the place ahead of time, and then his troops followed. The author of the book concentrates more on the differences of the two warriors as an indication of how Americans differed with the Indians. The contents of this book are very essential to the people of United States as it explains more about the origins of their culture.

For instance, the crazy Horse was a native American who led the war of Oglala Lakota. The main theme of this warrior was to fight against the US federal government concerning the way of like of Lakota people in 1876. In 1877, crazy horse surrendered himself to the United States police force after sustaining some injuries for resisting the troop imprisonment .

Through his efforts to fight for the rights of his people, he became a famous Native American, and received much honor from United States Postal Service. For the very first time in his life, crazy horse was chosen to participate in war against the United States army in 1866, which was a very successful attack.

In 1876, General Custer on the other hand trapped the tribes, whereby his main plans were to attack the camp from both sides. On the other hand, crazy horse discovered that General Custer would not make it to cross the river according to his plans. This gave crazy horse an opportunity to outdo the efforts of General Custer. The river that General Custer was planning to close was too wide and deep for the horses to close.

Crazy Horse took the advantage of the situation and led his army to the point where they suspected General Custer wanted to pass through. This action made things to be so late for the Civil War Hero. Through this process of Crazy Horse outwitting General Custer, there emerged attractive and important lasting Montana history.

During that period, people started urging Crazy Horse to surrender to the United States army and be ready to face the trial, but he could not give in to this trial, and he opposed for another one year. Crazy Horse stayed in opposition until the time when the disappearing buffalo and other groups who were offering support gave up, and refused to offer it again to his people.

In 1877, is when Crazy Horse decided to meet Fort Robinson for reconciliation, Crazy horse decided to meet him without any reinforcement with a purpose of settling peace with him. The army leaders did not want any negotiations with Crazy Horse, and were planning to put him in prison, without going through any trial session . When Crazy horse heard about this idea, he resisted completely.

Crazy Horse did not oppose the United States army because he hated them, but these were efforts to guarantee the rights of his people, and to ensure that there was justice. His presence in the history and culture of United States is very crucial as it resulted to justice being realized in some places. His fight was not exceptional from that of George Washington who was in war for previous century.

The efforts of Crazy Horse were realized at his early age, when he was chosen to participate in wars, and ended up successfully. In this book, the author says that he successfully fought in 1866 and 1867 together with Fetter men fight and Wagon Box Fight, which led him to become the war chief of Oglala and acquired some followers with whom he used to fight for the rights and justice of his people .

In addition to his efforts, Crazy Horse initiated a war in the early 1870s leading his group of men to attack the Northern Pacific Railway surveyors. This action increased the degree of tensions among the Black Hills Gold Rush, which was responsible in increasing the whites in that region. In 1876, the nomadic hunting bands that belonged to Crazy Horse ignored the command they received to present themselves to their reservations.

This action made the military to launch a campaign against Crazy Horse and his people. In the year 1876 and 1877, Crazy Horse also fought another battle of Powder River . All these battle that Crazy horse organized, the author of the book assures us that they are worth celebration especially by the Lakota people. The author of the book insists that Crazy Horse was not hostile because he hated the whites, but because he wanted his people to come true.

Were it not for this warrior, the people of Lakota could have suffered a great deal especially from the oppression of the white settlers. Towards the end of the book, the author does bring out a clear picture of differences of Crazy Horse and Custer.

For instance, Ambrose states, “Both men fought for prestige, although in Crazy Horses case it was prestige for its own sake, while in Custer’s case the prestige led to additional power” . The writer focuses more on the differences of the two warriors more than their similarities. The book is worth reading as it discusses more of the American culture.


Ambrose, S. (2002). Crazy Horse and Custer: The parallel lives of two American. New York: Anchor Books.

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IvyPanda. 2019. ""The Crazy Horse and Custer" Book." June 27, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-crazy-horse-and-custer-book/.


IvyPanda. (2019) '"The Crazy Horse and Custer" Book'. 27 June.

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