There are complex stories behind those faces on Mount Rushmore that have been edited out of the guidebooks and textbooks. There is the story of how the land on which Rushmore stands was expropriated from the Lakota Sioux in 1877, abrogating a major treaty. There is the story of the sculpture's creator and ideologue, Gutzon Borglum, a leader in the Ku Klux Klan, who saw in the expansion of European settlement across the American West the fulfillment of white racial destiny. Rushmore is prefigured in the story of Custer, who sealed the fate of the Black Hills when he discovered gold there in 1874. Larner traces the meaning and evolution of the Custer battle commemorations, and pursues the ways in which Custer's defeat, the killings at Wounded Knee, and Rushmore, are linked in the story of the Indians' loss of the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore also traces modern political uses of the monument, from Cold War television broadcasts to Boy Scout conventions to political campaigns. It looks at Rushmore's semi-religious status as the national shrine of Democracy, and contrasts this with political restrictions on the practice of Indian religions in the Black Hills. Finally, Larner deals with previous works on Rushmore that have avoided its message of conquest, preferring to focus on a simplistic narrative of national glory. Even the tour guides at Rushmore understand little of its real history, or of the legal fact that the land from which it rises belongs to the Lakota.