by James Welch
General George Custer's 1876 attack on a huge encampment of Plains Indians has gone down as the most disastrous defeat in American history. Much less understood is how disastrous it was for the "victors, " the Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Sitting Bull: within fifteen years all Native Americans were confined to reservations, their culture in ruins. James Welch poignantly resurrects their side of the story from beneath a mountain of myth and misinterpretation, relating in masterful prose the pride and desperation of a people stripped of treaty rights and hounded from ancestral hunting grounds into wretched reservations. Through this critical missing piece that tells the Indian side of the story, " Killing Custer" rethinks the meaning of the Little Bighorn for a multicultural society.