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A Road We Do Not Know

June 2024
1min read

I was surprised to see that the title of Larry McMurtry’s essay about George Armstrong Custer in the February/ March issue, “A Road They Did Not Know,” was apparently borrowed without attribution from Frederick J. Chiaventone’s novel, A Road We Do Not Know: A Novel of Custer at the Little Bighorn , published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster. True, titles are not copyrighted, but ripping one off from a recent novel is bad form. At the very least, I would like to call attention to the work, for Chiaventone’s mixture of horse sweat, prejudice, stupidity, ambition, hot blood, and unbending pride casts a brilliant light on the sublime tragedy that was the collision of the white and Native American cultures. The book is a fierce tour de force, a literary triumph of the first order of magnitude.

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