History is not governed by a specific course, it does not obey academic rules. It is an entity unto itself, independent from consensus, or fashion. The only historical moments people agree upon are perhaps the ones they don't care about. It can be said that there is no complete history, because our appreciation of it is based on what we imagine it tells us - which may be why we do not learn from it.
As I have stated several times, Custer is a mixed bag. He had moments of brilliance and moments of stupidity. The significance of the Stiles book is that Stiles explored both aspects of the man. Stiles allowed for both, and, in my opinion, actually gave fresh perspectives that diminished both perspectives. As a historian, Stiles not only disabled the post LBH legend, but the post sixties legend, as seen in Little Big Man. Stiles is able to give or take credit where due.
My very first history project per Custer in 1973 was not directly focused on the LBH. My project was researching why 11 years post op Civil War why Custer only had a permanent rank of Lieutenant Colon... more
Evidence based research is the mechanism which defines history. It is not defined by one's opinion nor is it defined by philosophy.
Yes Custer was correctly defined by Styles with the good and the ... more
One of my favorite analyses of Custer is the last chapter of Robert M. Utley's CAVALIER IN BUCKSKIN (1988). Utley, who has devoted more time to the plains Indian wars of the than probably any other h... more
All of the above appears to give a balanced view of Custer.
However Custer's AWOL misconduct and later presidential suspension are the only variables which really matters. This was the summation o... more