A place to share opinions and humor about politics, history, books, films and music.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
My Newest Book! Custer and the Plains Wars...
The blog page has been strangely silent of late, for which I apologize. I might claim to be in mourning, for my dog who passed November 21, or for the country, which passed into a strange new world 13 days earler. I could claim that the weather has kept me busy, with my first and subsequent sojourns into snow-shovel land of Winter 2016-7. I could, but the truth is, I have been busy. Now I can proudly tell you all what I have been busy doing, and remind myself and all of you that life goes on. We do what we have to do. It is what it is.
The long and short of it is that I just self-published my next book on CreateSpace, Amazon and Amazon Kindle. It is called Custer's Last Stand: An Illustrated History of the Plains Wars and the Near-Extinction of the American Bison. It is a concise history, meaning short (130pp) and yet filled with interesting information and true stories. I had fun writing it. I finished the main draft three years ago and have been tinkering, fiddling, adding, subtracting, polishing and postponing it ever since as if it were a gemstone I had cut from a rough piece into a perfect, faceted shape. The book sells for $9.99, the Kindle version for $4.99. It is availabkle now, in the US, and within the next 2 days elsewhere worldwide. I know there have been many books written about Custer and the white man's push into Indian territory I think I bring a new perspective.
You can buy it on Amazon, A,mazon Kindle, CreateSpace webstore, or any other major bookseller. I encourage you to do so. Here is an excerpt:
Seth Bullock, sometimes lawman, sometimes explorer, sometimes merchant, was one of the people who encouraged President Ulysses S. Grant to make Yellowstone the first national park in America – or the world – long before Wyoming and Montana would become states. Setting aside a huge piece of wilderness for protection was a radical idea, but Congress passed the Yellowstone Park National Protection Act and Grant signed it into law on March 1, 1872.
In June, 1876, Bullock was operating a merchantile with his partner Sol Starr in the boomtown Deadwood, South Dakota, near the gold fields of the Black Hills. In his later years, Bulloch would become a close friend and mentor to another President, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt would go on to become the great conservationist, expanding the national parks system and adding a national monument program as well. Roosevelt turned 18 on October 27, 1876..
The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The train, the Iron Horse, now linked east to west. On its tracks, new towns formed. The vast West was shrinking. More and more people moved westward in search of some version of the Promised Land. It was their manifest destiny to conquer and rule that land, and although the invasion was slow at the start, it grew faster and faster. The terrible War Between the States that once and for all would abolish slavery in the United States, cut short expansion for a time. But the race was back right after. America stretched from sea to shining sea and belonged to a specific group of people. Anyone in their way was in danger.
The United States of America was one hundred years old, or would be, on July 4. Across the country people planned centennial celebrations. Colorado, admitted into the Union in August, would become known as the Centennial State. In the vast and dangerous West, settlers were pouring in, looking for homesteads to ranch or farm, or gold, or buffalo skins, or places to sell all the things the others in there area would need or want.
1876 was a monumental year, even as years go. Before the year was over, Wild Bill Hickok would be murdered while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota; the Jesse James-Cole Younger Gang would be broken up after a failed attempt to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota; the nation would celebrate the centennial of its birth with the lavish International Exposition in Philadelphia, later to be known as, simply, the Centennial, a six month long national fair to which one in five Americans would go; the National Women's Suffrage Association, formed seven years before, would draw significant attention to the women's rights issue; Ulysses S. Grant would finish his second term as President, to watch as a new Preisdent would be elected but no one would know the outcome for months at the threat of a second civil war; and George Armstrong Custer would fight the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..