Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Terrible Glory”

On a recent visit to the Little Bighorn site, a good friend asked the tour guides what was in their opinion the best historical book regarding the battle. “A Terrible Glory” by James Donovan is that book.

A-Terrible-Glory-Cover.jpgThere is more here than the history of the actual battle. We are taken in short form through the life of George Armstrong Custer. The “boy general” of the Civil War sought fame through the wearing of the uniform and he certainly found it.

The June 25-26, 1876, event was also known by the Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass. The Lakota, Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes were there along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in the southeastern Montana Territory.

Native Americans continued to be pushed from their lands in the name of manifest destiny and their coming together at this time was to plan for the future.

The politics leading up to this claim of destiny, Custer’s rush to be a part of it, the Native American tribes inadvertently joining together at this precise moment, the on-field movements and the subsequent blame game are laid out in detail.

As with so many stories of military battles over the ages, one is left to wonder how any battle was ever won. Mass confusion, conflicting egos, orders misinterpreted, glory sought and facts ignored fill the pages as the men marched off to death.

The book reads as an historical novel, and you will grow anxious as the battle nears.

“Born in New York City in 1916, James B. Donovan graduated from Fordham University and Harvard Law School. A commander in the Navy during World War II, he became general counsel of the Office of Strategic Services and was associate prosecutor at the principal Nuremberg trial. ...served as general counsel for the Cuban Families Committee, obtaining the release of more than 9,700 Cubans and Americans from Castro’s Cuba; was president of Pratt Institute; and was president of the Board of Education of the City of New York. He died in 1970.” - Simon & Schuster.com

These are pictures my friend took at the site:


Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2018 season is his 12th with the club and 33nd covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 7th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March. 180 children participated last year.

* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2018 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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