Patton: A Genius for War

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9780060164553: Patton: A Genius for War

A comprehensive biography of General George Patton draws on hitherto unavailable letters, diaries, and memoirs, uncovering many new facts to create an insightful and definitive portrait of an American military hero.

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From the Publisher:

Fifty years after his death, General George C. Patton Jr. remains one of the most colorful, charismatic, misunderstood and controversial figures ever to set foot on the battlefields of World War II. And the image of the man has been not a little influenced by the 1970 film Patton, starring George C. Scott, in which he is portrayed as a swashbuckling, brash, profane, impetuous general who wore ivory-handled pistols into battle and slapped two hospitalized soldiers in Sicily.

It is one of the achievements of this riveting biography that it reveals the complex and contradictory personality that lay behind the facade. With full access to Patton's private and public papers, and the cooperation of the general's family, Carlo D'Este shows us not only the extrovert Patton of public perception, but also the intensely private Patton -- the devoted student of history, the poet, the humble man very unsure of his own abilities -- who could burst into tears, be charming or insulting quite unexpectedly, and the Patton who trained himself for greatness with a determination matched by no other general in the twentieth century. D'Este describes Patton's patrician background with its strong military heritage in the Civil War on the Confederate side; his struggle to overcome dyslexia to get through West Point; his lifelong doubts about his own courage that forced him to take reckless chances; and the enduring and sometimes troubled marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Beatrice Ayer, daughter of a wealthy Boston family, who proved to be a tower of strength and devotion to a soldier husband who was miserable in peacetime.

This book also covers Patton's military career from his dramatic role in the 1916 campaign against Pancho Villa in northern Mexico to his service in France in World War I, where he organized and led the first U.S. tank corps at Saint-Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne offensive (where he was seriously wounded), to his frequently brilliant and occasionally very controversial roles during World War II in the fighting in North Africa, Sicily, France and Germany, where he earned the reputation of being the allied general the Germans most feared and respected.

Patton: A Genius for War is a full-fledged portrait of an extraordinary American.

About the Author:

Carlo D'Este is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a highly regarded military historian. He is the author of four books about World War II -- Decision in Normandy, Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily, 1943, World War II in the Mediterranean, and Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome.

D'Este received his B.A. from Norwich University in 1958, an M.A. from the University of Richmond in 1974, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Norwich in 1992.

Born in Oakland, California, D'Este now lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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