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Patton: Genius for War, A Paperback – September 27, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the most renowned and controversial American general of the 20th century, George Patton (1885-1945) remains a subject of intense interest. D'Este (Decision in Normandy) provides new information from family archives and other sources about Patton's ancestry, childhood and pre-WWII military career. This includes his student years at West Point, his experience as a tank officer in WWI and various interwar staff assignments. The author emphasizes Patton's lifelong study and preparation for war and his conviction that God not only chose him specifically to lead an army but also stood ready to intervene to assure him battlefield victories. D'Este has much to say about Patton's impulsiveness, impatience and tactlessness, showing how these qualities often got him in trouble with the public as well as with his superiors. The account of Patton's campaigns from North Africa through Sicily, Normandy and the Ardennes enables the reader to understand why the general is regarded as one of the great military leaders. This is a major biography of a major American military figure. Illustrations.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is revisionism at its very best . . . -- The New York Times Book Review, Alistair Horne
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Top Customer Reviews
And as expected, this Patton biography choice is the best ever written and a must read for the history deep diver seeking to engage the Patton legend in exquisite, fact finding detail.
I've come to think I better understand Patton after this deep dive. Enough at least to know that his obsessive narcissism would require incredible results to overcome his personality. And in fact, he was terrific job performer and got the job done when in his brief stints of command. A sure evidence of Patton's capacity to get the job done quickly is that his Italian campaign replacement Clark had little burned considerably more 10,000's thousands of US lives and years of campaign for too late and a too bloody meager strategic outcome.
D'Este's incredible fidelity and evidence is seen to affect post mortem Patton peer autobiographies. The author also references other opposing autobiographical opinions and conjecture for consideration of the whole.
I frankly have no idea how one can find a more complete and researched biography. You will most certainly gain a changed opinion, one way or another about the General at many levels.
Then I a) put my snoot into the notes, bibliography and index, and realized how much effort Mr. D'Este put into this book and b) read War as I Knew It ... which told me Patton chose to be a Sphinx, which amazingly complicates the biographer's job.
I now consider this book the best available on a most enigmatic man.
We, as Americans, should feel priviliged such a man was one of us.
Do not hesitate to buy this book. Once you read it, please join me in trying to spread the word as to what an insanely great American Gen. George S. Patton was.
By way of degrees of separation, I feel honored my son has crossed tracks with those of Patton's troops at Ft. Irwin three generations apart.