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"An instant classic." Douglas Brinkley
Fifty years after his death, General George S. 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, 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.