A Custer Reader
The Lawrence A. Frost Collection contains over 5000 books relating to General George A. Custer and many other pieces of Custeriana. For those just starting to study Custer deciding where to start can be daunting. Fortunately Custer scholars have provided bibliographies that can help.
Reading guides to Custer literature have been published as early as the 1930s. One of the first to be printed was included in the book The Custer Tragedy by Fred Dustin. It was published in 1939 and includes a bibliography of 282 books, maps and other items.
Bookseller Tal Luther published Custer High Spots first as a journal article titled, “High Spots of Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn Literature (and a few low spots)” in 1967. He continued to add to his list and publish it as a book later in the same year. The last edition of Custer High Spots was published in 1972. Tom Swinford updated Luther’s High Spots in 1999 with Custeriana: A Field Guide to Custer Literature.
Custer literature continues to be published along with new Custer bibliographies.
In 2008 Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Anderson compiled A Reader’s Guide to Custeriana. He revised it in 2010 and now in 2015 he has republished it with over 4600 entries. He describes his work in the preface as “an encyclopedic, annotated bibliography, augmented with one man’s interpretations and opinions based on decades of study and reflection on the subject.”
In 2012, Michael O’Keefe compiled the two volume set Custer, The Seventh Cavalry, and the Little Big Horn. In his introduction O’Keefe gives a detailed history of earlier bibliographies. He argues several reasons for the need for a new bibliography including time that over 30 years has passed since a major one has been published and new literature needs to be added, including information garnered from archeological digs.
Local historian and author, Dave Ingall, offers a condensed reading plan for those just beginning to study General George A. Custer. He suggests the next few titles as a place to start.
The Custer Album by Lawrence Frost
Custer: The Controversial Life of George A. Custer by Jeffrey Wert
My Life on the Plains by George A. Custer
The Civil War Years
Custer Victorious by Gregory Urwin
Battle of the Little Big Horn
Little Big Horn 1876: Custer’s Last Stand by Peter Panzeri
Little Big Horn Battlefield Handbook by Robert Utley
Vanishing Victory by Bruce Liddic
Little Big Horn Diary by James Willert