“There is no question of personal courage in this war,” Colonel Patton’s commanding officer told him on the eve of battle in 1918. “It is a business proposition where every man must be in his place and performing his part.”
No one in the history of warfare was less likely to follow that advice than George S. Patton Jr. His place was in front of his men, and he paid the price, when he lay bleeding to death in a bomb crater in France.
Patton’s survival that day at the end of World War I was nothing short of miraculous. It confirmed the powerful sense of destiny that guided him through three decades of war and made him a military legend“Old Blood and Guts,” an impossible mixture of irascibility and courage, profanity and profound religious faith, tactical impulsiveness and strategic genius.
Blood and guts were indeed a large part of what made Patton Patton. Descended from an illustrious line of warriors, he was acutely conscious of the martial heritage in his blood. He met every challenge of his life with determination and guts. He demanded the same from his men, and he usually got it.
But as Michael Keane shows in this masterly portrait, the foundation of Patton’s character was his vivid awareness of the presence and providence of God. Patton’s Christian faith was idiosyncratic, even unorthodox, but his habit of prayer was as simple, trusting, and constant as a monk’s.
A singular combination of virtues and flaws, Patton has been venerated and despised but rarely understood. In Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer, Michael Keane penetrates the fog of legend and reveals as compelling a human character as any in American history.
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About the Author
Michael Keane is a Fellow of National Security at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He was embedded in Iraq with the US Army's 101st Airborne Division, under the command of Gen. David Petraeus, and in Kabul, Afghanistan at the headquarters of the ISAF Commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Keane is a former Fellow of the US Department of Defense's National Security Education Project. He has apeared on CNN, CNBC, FoxNews and the History Channel and has been profiled in BusinessWeek magazine. Keane is also the author of The Night Santa Got Lost: How Norad Saved Christmas and the Dictionary of Modern Strategy and Tactics. He earned his JD from the University of Texas School of law, and MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Southern California. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
Table of Contents
Part I Blood
Chapter 1 Ghosts of the Confederacy 7
Chapter 2 Benjamin Davis Wilson 19
Chapter 3 Papa 25
Chapter 4 Dearest Bea 41
Part II Guts
Chapter 5 Pancho Villa 67
Chapter 6 World War I 81
Chapter 7 Tanks 87
Chapter 8 Teaching Courage 103
Chapter 9 Task Force Baum 119
Chapter 10 Saving the Lipizzaners 133
Part III Prayer
Chapter 11 Growing Up 149
Chapter 12 God of Battles 155
Chapter 13 Saving a Soul 179
Chapter 14 Patton's Prayer 203
Chapter 15 The Last Enemy 221
Appendix 1 Patton's Obituary 229
Appendix 2 Patton's Prayer for Courage 231
Appendix 3 Patton's Letter to Headquarters, Third United States Army 233
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*tries not to puke* "Its great! But to be honest with you, it was a bit to gory for me. And maybe a tad too vivid?"
At 'willed control' res two
This book adds relatively little to the story of George Patton. Many of the events described have been done by other biographers -- e.g., Ladislas Farago, Carlo D'Este -- and then are quoted by Keane. He does attempt to create new categories of information as indicated by the subtitle (Blood, Guts and Prayer), but those divisions result in a somewhat disorganized presentation and some "stretches" to illustrate the themes. I would recommend other books on Patton.