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Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America
T.J. Stiles, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the National Book Award for Nonfiction

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

"If anyone could make a reader forget Custer’s last stand, at least for a few hundred pages at a time, it would be T. J. Stiles."
-- Author Candice Millard reviewing Stiles' book about Gen. George Armstrong Custer.

Here's an opportunity to actually forget Custer's last stand and look at his actions and attitudes before the infamous end.

Author T. J. Stiles, at the Council's Wednesday, January 25, program at Parish Episcopal School, will examine the quirks, coincidences and moving forces in the American general's life before his final battle at Little Big Horn.

Stile's latest book, Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of New America, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History. Stiles also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography with The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

How did George Armstrong Custer come to be such a highly regarded figure? Stiles examines the elevation of a man once regarded as an American hero. He'd been at Appomattox with U.S. Grant when the Civil War ended, then was a combat leader as the 100-year-old United States waged the Plains Wars against the people who had been living on the land for centuries.

And, with Custer, truth becomes stranger than fiction – he rises in the hearts of American admirers, then plummets as his deeds and behavior are examined more closely after Little Big Horn in 1876.

Now, in the wake of more than a century of analysis by historians and colorful interpretations by Hollywood and fiction writers, there are carefully researched answers to the questions about Custer. Stiles' book, described as a "magisterial biography," even delves into his reputation as a "horse thief" and what is described as his "tumultuous marriage to his highly educated wife, Libbie; their complicated relationship with Eliza Brown, the forceful black woman who ran their household; as well as his battles and expeditions."

Since the end of the two-day Battle of the Little Big Horn (June 25-26, 1876), Custer has been the focus of historic and military research, Hollywood movies and TV shows and book after book, including notable fiction such as Thomas Berger's book Little Big Man, made into a film in 1970 starring Dustin Hoffman.

Now, a historian with a reputation for meticulous research and vivid writing "explains" this American general.


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6:30 PM Reception
7:00 PM Program & Book Signing
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Parish Episcopal School
4101 Sigma Road
Dallas, TX 75244
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$10 Members
$25 Non-Members
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