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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

on 16 May 2007
Both volumes of the Patton Papers form what is quite simply one of the finest works of historical biography/autobiography extant. I would seriously compare Blumenson's achievement with Boswell's "Life of Samuel Johnson", for with that exception, I know of no other comparable work. By the last page one feels that one has known Patton intimately.

Sheer historical value aside, this is a God's eye view of an astounding personality, largely in his own unguarded words, but always objectively contextualised by Blumeston. Patton is appalling, magnificent, compassionate, brutal, crude, kind, refined, blood-crazed, obsequious, outrageously vain, self-knowing and wildly unselfaware - an amazing yet entirely coherent contradiction. Perhaps his impact is best summed up by what is described as a wholly unintelligible letter of sympathy, sent to Mrs Patton by a former soldier after the General's death. It ends with a desperately scrawled "I LOVED HIM". Read this book and you will know exactly why, because behind the history - brilliant though it is - lies a fascinating study in charisma and command.
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on 13 October 1998
This book gives the reader an insight into the way the war was fought and the personality of the main participants. General Patton's letters, both personal and professional, enable us to gain a window into the mind of a combat officer in the middle of a war. He also highlights the conflicts between the Allied forces and the American command structure, as well as the conflicts between the various senior Americans (Eisenhower, Bradley, Hodges, ect...) The editor, Blumenson, gives the reader a picture of what was going on while Patton's letters were being written as well as the truth when the author was uninformed about something. (It's impossible to know every event during a war.) A great book that should be in every WWII historians library.
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on 27 February 2015
excellent book
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