The Exile ) once again takes a dramatic historical event and tells the story from an unusual and controversial vi"/>

AN OBITUARY FOR MAJOR RENO

Richard S. Wheeler, Author . Forge $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0708-8

Spur Award–winning western writer Wheeler (The Exile ) once again takes a dramatic historical event and tells the story from an unusual and controversial viewpoint, this time chronicling Custer's last stand from the perspective of Maj. Marcus Reno, one of Custer's senior officers. History condemned Reno for failing to come to Custer's aid on the day of the massacre in Montana in 1876, although eyewitness accounts and an official court of inquiry proved the fault was Custer's, not Reno's. In 1889 Reno is dying of cancer, a disgraced and broken man who wants only to regain his honor. He grants a last interview to Joseph Richler, a newspaper reporter with the New York Herald , hoping to finally tell his side of the story. Richler doubts Reno will be able to add anything new to the well-publicized account and is surprised to find that he not only likes the unlikable Reno, but that he believes him, too. Richler then wonders why so many people vilified the man who actually saved half of Custer's company. His investigation reveals treachery, professional jealousy, scapegoating hysteria and an army culture of heroic death. Although some might call this revisionist history, it is also compelling fiction, a fresh, insightful and compassionate tale of a tragic figure. Agent, Robin Rue at Writers House. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 12/01/2004
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