Patton: Tenacity in Action
The man who for so many was larger than life is the subject of Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny which is a chronologically arranged biography about four star General George S. Patton Jr., the World War II leader who has so closely been tied to mechanized armored vehicles Ã¢ÂÂ tanks.
He was born in California to a prominent family from Virginia, with a long history of heroes, who had distinguished themselves, on the battlefields, of American history. He was raised in privilege, with a clear understanding that he too would be expected to go forward and leave his mark on history. The West Point graduate married Beatrice Banning Ayer, an affluent Bostonian, with whom he had three children. He was an Olympian in 1912, an expert marksman and was the armyÃ¢ÂÂs youngest Ã¢ÂÂMaster of the Sword.Ã¢ÂÂ Throughout his life, Patton, a life-long career Army officer, studied and pursued excellence, always interested in new technology and advancements.
The General was in fact part of the first armored vehicle attack in American history, when he trailed and trapped Mexican General Julio CÃÂ¡rdenas, using three Dodge cars, while serving under General John J. Pershing, during the Punitive Expedition of 1916.
While stationed in Hawaii, his foresight inspired him to write a plan to defend Pearl Harbor, against a Japanese attack, ten years before the attack occurred. At fifty-five, Patton took flying lessons, and bought a small plane in order to survey battlefields, establishing the notion of spotter planes doing reconnaissance.
His interest in tanks was shared by General Dwight David Eisenhower, who both understood the role such mechanized armored vehicles could and would play in war. There fascination with tanks almost cost them their lives, long before becoming the victors of World War II. While taking apart and putting a tank back together, to fully understand its function, they were nearly decapitated, by a flying belt, and almost shot by a jammed gun that was mounted on tank.
He distinguished himself throughout his career, though there were certainly moments which he would have rather not been a party to, as with being called to remove the Bonus Marchers from tent cities in Washington D.C., in 1932. The Bonus Marchers were veterans from World War I, including Joe Angelo, who had saved PattonÃ¢ÂÂs life, during the war. At the height of the Great Depression, the men were seeking bonuses promised to them by Congress, for their service in the war. Along with General Douglas MacArthur, Patton had the job of dispersing these men, much to his horror.
General George S. Patton is an American hero, who like the rest of us, had his flaws; but he is someone we should know of and not forget, which is why I would recommend Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny
I enjoyed this book, in the same fashion as I would a piece of fiction. The narrative flows easily and the subject matter is certainly interesting. If your knowledge of Patton is limited, this is a nice way to get an overview of a fascinating man, who truly felt destine to achieve greatness.
The problem with the book is that it reads like a book report of the often mentioned Stanley P. Hirshson biography of Patton: General Patton: A SoldierÃ¢ÂÂs Life. It is a historical biography without footnotes or quotes. PattonÃ¢ÂÂs words are missing from this book, as are his own insights, with the rare exception where a letter home or journal entry is referred to, though not actually quoted. Unfortunately, the book does not delve deeply enough into its subject, I was left wishing there was more detail; but it certainly does wet ones appetite and gives you a nice overview of a man who left his mark, as expected. That is all for now.
I received a copy of the this book for free from Book Sneeze
November 2, 2010
Patton, The Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell And Ed Bressen is an easily read detailed account of one of Americas generals whose footsteps seem larger than life. In this account of the larger than life general you are taken from General Pattons birth and childhood, though his training, into detailed accounts of his military career and all the way through his death. In honesty, I am not a scholar of history and knew little of Patton or the details of either WW1 or WW2. That said, I gained a great appreciation for one of the great men of our country and for the military strategy of the allies in the second world war. I did feel the author did not look as critically as necessary at many of Pattons grandiose actions often rationalizing them away by explaining Pattons emotional state or past. I also struggled as novice to Patton to follow the progression of his wartime efforts. One might consider holding this book in one hand and a map in the other as places begin to get jumbled as the story moves quickly. Overall though, the author does a remarkable job of showing how a man who felt he had a destiny to die on the battle field ended up leading our military to victory. I received the copy of Patton free from booksneeze, a reviewing arm of Thomas Nelson Publishers.
August 25, 2010
Although I am not a huge history buff, I found this book to be very interesting. We all at some time have watched a movie based on true stories or facts. But how accurate are they if they are based off of encounters with people who had a score to settle?This book separates General Patton from the movie and shows the side of him based on his close family values and military upbringing. At a very young age Patton was exposed to high-ranking and a long line of military figures on both sides of his family. Much of his childhood was spent being read all the stories of the great military heroes. Such stories came from the Iliad and Odyssey. His Aunt would read endlessly to him from the bible as well, so much that while in college, challenges to quote scriptures regularly left the challengers completely defeated. General Patton was best known for his impulsive behavior. He had a determination like no other and would not settle for anything less then perfect. General Patton was a stickler on military tradition and expected no less from the troops he led.I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading more on General Pattons religious beliefs, and to learn more of what made him the great military leader he turned out to be.I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.comBook Sneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
August 15, 2010
A new release from Thomas Nelson's "The Generals" series, Von Hassell and Breslin's book provides a brief overview of the complicated life of General George S. Patton. This book provides the reader with a nice synopsis of the some of the main points and events in Patton's life. However, I found the book lacking in several areas. Rather than an historical biography, the book reads as though it were written by members of a Patton fan club.First, the authors go to great lengths in the prologue to denigrate General Omar Bradley when compared to General Patton. The reasoning for this is unclear.Secondly, Patton is portrayed as possibly one of the great cavalrymen in the history of the United States Army as well as one of the Army's all-time great strategists, tacticians, teachers and trainers, tank unit commanders and so on. While he may have had great strengths in these areas, no man is the best-ever in each of these disciplines.Thirdly, though the back cover states that the book is written "without varnishing over his shortcomings", the authors make a great effort to explain the reasoning behind many of the "shortcomings" of Patton, from his excessive and unnecessary profanity to his slapping of two WWII soldiers, calling them "cowards" because he was afraid that anyone would accuse him of cowardice. Little is noted of Patton's womanizing, alcohol abuse and depression.Finally, while the authors include a bibliography of 11 items, there are no notes given throughout the text. Only periodically do the authors refer to previous works by other historians.To get a sense of the major points in Patton's life, this book is effective in its ability to highlight those events that shaped the general's impact. However, its presentation is too uneven in its pro-Patton nature as to be objective.I reviewed this book in conjunction with Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program, was not compensated for this review and the opinions expressed are solely mine.
August 8, 2010