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The outlines of Custer's life are familiar to all: After graduating last in his class at West Point, he rose to become the Union's youngest general on the strength of his flamboyance and military genius. Next came 12 years of checkered service in the American West, ending with the famous massacre at Little Bighorn. The most interesting unanswered question about Custer has less to do with his history than ours--why, more than a century later, are we so captivated by the man and his story? Wert believes the answer lies in the fact that Custer is a "symbol of the nation's guilt over its sad history of continental conquest." [via]