The Real Custer takes a good hard look at the life and storied military career of George Armstrong Custerfrom cutting his teeth at Bull Run in the Civil War, to his famous and untimely death at Little Bighorn in the Indian Wars.
Author James Robbins demonstrates that Custer, having graduated last in his class at West Point, went on to prove himself again and again as an extremely skilled cavalry leader. Robbins argues that Custer's undoing was his bold and cocky attitude, which caused the Army's bloodiest defeat in the Indian Wars.
Robbins also dives into Custer’s personal life, exploring his letters and other personal documents to reveal who he was as a person, underneath the military leader. The Real Custer is an exciting and valuable contribution to the legend and history of Custer that will delight Custer fans as well as readers new to the legend.
James S. Robbins is Deputy Editor of Rare and Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs on the American Foreign Policy Council. He is the award-winning former Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs at the Washington Times, an author, political commentator and professor, with an expertise in national security, and foreign and military affairs. He served as special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His books include This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (2010) and Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point (2006). Robbins is also a political commentator and contributing editor for National Review Online.
"[Robbins] avoids the cynicism and sneering that too often attend his subject to give a full, sympathetic, yet warts-and-all portrait of the man we've long known: last in his West Point class, impetuous, cocky, brave, foolish, insubordinate, violent, a born warrior...." Publisher's Weekly
"James Robbins's The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero is a well-written four-hundred-page epic adventure that details the highs and lows of one of America’s most controversial figures. His treatment of Custer is fair and even handed. The most impressive aspect of the volume is the 'Boy General's' cadet years and his fearless exploits during the Civil War. For the casual reader who desires a truly dedicated exploration of Custer the man and soldier placed in the context of his timethis is the real thing."
Michael Donahue, author of Drawing Battle Lines: The Map Testimony of Custer's Last Fight, historical interpreter at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and chairman of the Department of Visual Arts at Temple College
"Robbins has succeeded brilliantly in presenting The Real Custer, making vivid his romantic flair, joie de vivre, and battlefield mastery without being blind to his flaws."
John Pafford, author of The Forgotten Conservative
"Robbins has created a scintillating, exciting narrative about the unique exploits of America's Boy General. He weaves a plethora of original source materials into a compelling, flowing tale of derring-do. The fast pace of the book matches the fast pace of Custer's Civil War involvement at Bull Run, the Peninsula, Gettysburg, the Shenandoah Valley, Five Forks, and Appomattox. Custer was everywhere in the eastern theater, and Robbins captures the nature and spirit of his adventures there and in the Indian wars that followed."
Edward H. Bonekemper III, book review editor for Civil War News and author of Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian