Custer's Trials is a tremendous effort from Mr. T.J. Stiles, a man who won 2 Pulitzer Prizes and wrote a couple of best-selling novels. The new book is a biographical one and talks about the life and death of General George Custer in a new, refreshing and ground-breaking manner. It's a different look at the man himself and the time he lived in.
The author does his best to show us the real man behind the general's suit, it's a deeply personal, intimate look at his legacy and everything that he's done for this country. General Custer wasn't the man we thought he was, and Stiles describes him as a contradictory, passionate and intense person who was intelligent, capable and smart - brilliant, you could say. At the same time, he was insecure, romantic and even self-destructive.
You can't paint a figure like Custer in black-and-white - there are so many layers and tones to him that only someone like T.J. Stiles can capture his true personality, his soul. He claims that you can only understand the General if you pay attention to the fact that he was a visionary and played a vital part in shaping the modern-day United States.
He fought in the Civil War and was ready to give his life for his ideals, however, he never felt like at home in the country that he himself helped create. He set countless slaves free but was against several civil rights laws. He was a gifted leader on the battlefield, and he was a true hero of the war, but he also sent hundreds and thousands of soldiers to a certain death. Custer's Trials is arguably the most complex, overwhelming and true portrait of the General ever created. T.J. Stiles did an amazing job of taking us back in history and talking about the man like he was standing right next to us.