Today’s Goat, the celebrated West Point cadet finishing at the bottom of his class, carries on a long and storied tradition. George Custer’s contemporaries at the Academy believed that the same spirit of adventure that led him to “blow post” at night to carouse at local taverns also motivated his dramatic cavalry attacks in the Civil War and afterwards. And the same willingness to stoically accept punishment for his hijinks at the Academy also sent George Pickett marching into the teeth of the Union guns at Gettysburg. The story James S. Robbins tells goes from the beginnings of West Point through the carnage of the Civil War to the grassy bluffs over the Little Big Horn. The Goats he profiles tell us much about the soul of the American solider, his daring, imagination and desire to prove himself against high odds.