Patton: A Genius for War

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9780060164553: Patton: A Genius for War

Our vision of Patton - one of America's most charismatic and successful generals - has largely been formed by the popular film "Patton" released in 1970. Patton is portrayed as a swashbuckling, brash, profane, impetuous soldier who wore ivory-handled revolvers into battle and slapped hospitalized soldiers around the face. Behind this facade lay a very different, contradictory personality, an intensely private man, a devoted student of history, a writer of poetry, a man very unsure about his own abilities, humble, who could burst into tears quite unexpectedly. He trained himself for greatness with a determination matched, perhaps, by no other general in the 20th century. With access to Patton's private and public papers, Carlo D'este attempts to reveal the real Patton.

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From the Back Cover:

Fifty years after his death, General George S. Patton Jr. remains one of the most charismatic, misunderstood and controversial figures who ever set foot on the battlefields of the Second World War. The public image of him has been influenced overwhelmingly by the George C. Scott film 'Patton', in which he is portrayed as a brash 'Old Blood and Guts'. Now, for the first time, Carlo d'Este reveals a very different, contradictory personality. With full access to Patton's private and public papers, and the co-operation of his family, D'Este presents an acute portrait of Patton's career and shows not only the extrovert Patton of public perception but also Patton the intensely private man who could burst into tears, be charming or profane quite unexpectedly, but who trained himself for greatness with a determination matched by no other general in the twentieth century.

‘Carlo D'Este's superb biography unravels the deeper complexities of the individual as well as the maturity of his military mind... D'Este's fluent style and meticulous research capture Patton's extraordinary character and commend him to the Valhalla of warriors for which he always believed himself destined.’
RAYMOND SEITZ, 'Sunday Telegraph'

‘D'Este is a first-rate historian... He writes in that fluent, legible style that was the hallmark of the 'New Yorker' before Tina Brown tried to fashionabilise it... D'Este will hold your attention for all 800 pages, with his understanding of Patton's tortuous story, the alternating bluster and self-doubt until, in the end, the Furies came for him.’
ANN CLARK, 'Daily Telegraph'

‘The result of the author's meticulous documentation is to produce a Patton even weirder, even more unsettling than anything offered by the cinema or television... This book is a magnificent portrait.’
JOHN KEEGAN, 'Spectator'

‘This book is filled with new information about many people and subjects, but at the centre is an unforgettable character who struts across the pages, his virtues and his vices writ large, towards a destiny he sought with enormous energy.’
GERHARD L. WEINBERG, 'Times Literary Supplement'

About the Author:

Carlo D'Este, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a distinguished military historian, is the author of the acclaimed biographies Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life, among other books on World War II. He lives in Massachusetts.

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