Greasy Grass: A Story of the Little Bighorn (Five Star First Edition Western)

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9781432827106: Greasy Grass: A Story of the Little Bighorn (Five Star First Edition Western)
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Presents a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Little Big Horn from the perspectives of both the Indians and U.S. Army soldiers.

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About the Author:

Johnny D. Boggs has worked cattle, been bucked off horses (breaking two ribs last time), shot rapids in a canoe, hiked across mountains and deserts, traipsed around ghost towns, and spent hours poring over microfilm in library archives -- all in the name of finding a good story. He has won six Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America and a Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and has been called by Booklist magazine ''among the best Western writers at work today.'' He also writes for numerous magazines, including True West, Wild West, Boys' Life, and Western Art & Architecture, speaks and lectures often, studies old Western and film noir movies, and finds time to coach Little League. A native of South Carolina and former newspaper journalist, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife and son.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Amazingly, this is Boggs’ third novel to appear in the last 12 months, and another is forthcoming. This time, he tackles one of the most famous and contentious battles in American history: the Little Big Horn. He approaches it as a mosaic, using some 47 points of view, from the famous, such as Crazy Horse and Custer’s wife, Libbie, to such minor characters as an army trumpeter and a brash Indian teen trying to count coup. While George Armstrong Custer, or Long Hair, is featured in almost every vignette, the reader most often encounters the voice of Major Marcus Reno, the controversial commander who, separately from Custer, attacked the Indian village and found himself overmatched. Reno retreated into the woods, where he and his men made an every-man-for-himself scramble to link with Captain Frederick Bendeen atop Reno Hill. The ensuing accounts of Bendeen, Dr. Henry Porter (desperately trying to save wounded men crying out for water), and Sergeant Michael Madden, who joins the seemingly impossible run for water, form an almost unbearably intense narrative. Since a handful of Reno’s soldiers survived, this secondary battle nicely brackets the major Indian victory (or massacre) in which Custer and his men perished. Boggs points out that while much has been deduced from battlefield evidence and Indian accounts, no one knows the exact sequence of events. Filling out the mosaic, Boggs tells several stories from both Indian and army perspectives. Sometimes the combat here seems more brutal than likely, but to say so is quibbling, because this is an enthralling book, right up there with two of Boggs’ favorite Custer chronicles, Will Henry’s No Survivors (1950) and Evan S. Connell’s Son of the Morning Star (1984). --John Mort

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