The Button Box: A Daughter's Loving Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton

Overview

"There was never a moment in our lives that we were not reminded that our father was the finest, bravest, most gallant, and best-looking man who ever lived and that he was destined for unimaginable glory. This we took for granted. Being our father’s children was a special influence in all our lives, but the greatest, most pervasive, and most interesting influence in my life was Ma."

The Button Box isthe loving memoir of Beatrice Ayer Patton (1886–1953), the wife of one of the ...

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Overview

"There was never a moment in our lives that we were not reminded that our father was the finest, bravest, most gallant, and best-looking man who ever lived and that he was destined for unimaginable glory. This we took for granted. Being our father’s children was a special influence in all our lives, but the greatest, most pervasive, and most interesting influence in my life was Ma."

The Button Box isthe loving memoir of Beatrice Ayer Patton (1886–1953), the wife of one of the greatest military figures in history, General George S. Patton, Jr. Written by the Pattons’ daughter, Ruth Ellen, the book covers Beatrice’s life from her youth in a wealthy New England family until her death, with an emphasis on her years of marriage to George Patton. A supportive and loving wife, Beatrice was accomplished in her own right as an equestrian, musician, lecturer, sailor, and internationally published author. Courageous and adventurous, Beatrice played a significant role in her husband’s life. Without her, General Patton might never have reached his own level of success.

Although there have been numerous books written on George S. Patton, The Button Box provides a unique perspective on the general’s complex personality as well as a rare and intimate look inside his famous American family, a glimpse of the “Old Army” that formed the cadre of the army of World War II, and a detailed description of life “between the wars” in a society not to be seen again. Most important, though, it is the story of a truly fascinating woman, told with love and a rowdy sense of humor by her daughter.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[The Button Box] is, by turns, passionate, insightful, clever, and hilarious. . . . Beatrice was a complex person who was just as tough as her famous husband, but whose role in Patton’s life has never been fully appreciated or even explored. . . .  [This book] will serve as a lasting testament to a very unique woman, to a bygone era, and as a portrait of some characters more interesting than one could invent for an E. L. Doctorow novel.”—Carlo W. D’Este, author of Patton: A Genius for War

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826219336
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,073,047
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Ellen Patton Totten (1915–1993) was the daughter of General George S. Patton and Beatrice Ayer Patton. She was the author of The Rolling Kitchen.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, James Patton Totten is the son of Ruth Ellen Patton Totten. A retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel and textile plant manager, he lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Carlo W. D'Este vii

Introduction 1

Part I

Chapter 1 Granfer Ayer and Ellie 5

Chapter 2 "Like Birds on a Telephone Wire" 18

Chapter 3 Growing Up 29

Chapter 4 The Pattons 35

Chapter 5 Georgie 66

Part II

Chapter 6 Orange Blossoms 85

Chapter 7 The Great War 102

Chapter 8 Camp Meade and Fort Myer 121

Part III

Chapter 9 Schofield Barracks 145

Chapter 10 Legendes Hawaiiennes 177

Chapter 11 "The Debutante Racket" 231

Chapter 12 Hawaii Revisited 247

Chapter 13 Trouble in Paradise 260

Chapter 14 Europe Before the War 288

Chapter 15 Visiting Firemen 301

Chapter 16 Long Shadows 321

Part IV

Chapter 17 "A Helluva Way to Die" 343

Chapter 18 I Hide in Songs 354

Chapter 19 Happy Days 380

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