Thursday, August 12

Patton

Patton by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin

I usually find biographies a hit or miss. And If they miss, it’s usually because the writer makes even exciting events sound boring and fill the book with information that I never cared about. Thankfully Patton avoids these problems.
Patton tells about the famous World War II General, most widely known for leading at the Battle of the Bulge. Patton has also been the feature of an Academy Award winning movie (which I have not seen). One of the first things this book does though, is to take the portrayal of Patton in the movie versus the Patton of history. Movies are famous (or maybe infamous) for re-telling real life or exaggerating it.

At times funny, other times serious, this book paints a vivid portrait of Patton. It shows him to be the master strategist he was. He was an early proponent of the use of tanks, and is one of the men who really helped the army use them effectively.
Even though many of Patton’s victories make him seem almost superhuman, the authors take care to list many of Patton’s failings. His womanizing during some times of stress put a strain on his marriage. Also, battle fatigue wasn’t known as a medical problem at the time, and often he punished soldiers who displayed its symptoms thinking they weren’t exhibiting enough self control.

The first several chapters took me a bit to get into, but the pace really picks up when Patton enters the first World War. At just under 200 pages, it is a brisk read and doesn’t require a degree in history to appreciate or understand it.

4/5 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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