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Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945 | [Martin Blumenson]

Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945

This detailed and persuasive study by the author of The Patton Papers was described by Patton's daughter Ruth as "an extraordinary book". It is widely considered the best biography ever written of the General, an American hero as compelling as he was complex.
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Publisher's Summary

In paying final tribute to his Third Army commander, General Eisenhower said: "He was one of those men born to be a soldier...whose gallantry and dramatic personality inspired all he commanded to great deeds of valor." This detailed and persuasive study by the author of The Patton Papers was described by Patton's daughter Ruth as "an extraordinary book". It is widely considered the best biography ever written of the General, an American hero as compelling as he was complex.

©1985 by Martin Blumenson; (P)1990 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A gem of a biography...No previous work on Patton can match it." (Stephen E. Ambrose)
"Blumenson makes [clear]... the contradictory elements in his character that caused him at times to be outrageously impossible but made him a winning commander." (Forrest Pogue)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (168 )
5 star
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4.4 (58 )
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4.3 (58 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ann West Palm Beach, FL, USA 11-10-03
    Ann West Palm Beach, FL, USA 11-10-03
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    "Patton the man"

    I liked this book because it gives a picture of the whole personality of the man as well as his family history, etc. It's a fascinating book. It "listens well" and my husband and I could hardly wait to get to the next disk.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F-M Washington DC 03-19-06
    F-M Washington DC 03-19-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good insight into Patton (but poor audio)"

    Good listen if you want to know more about Patton the man.

    As others have noted, the audio quality is bad (it is old and my guess is that is comes from a cassete-tape).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chandler Bellevue, NE, USA 02-24-05
    Chandler Bellevue, NE, USA 02-24-05 Member Since 2003
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    "Good listen"

    Really enjoyed this. Good insight into the man, dispelled some myths and verified others. If you like WWII history, or the history of individuals who made a difference in his/her time, you'll like this

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris EASTON, PA, United States 02-07-14
    chris EASTON, PA, United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    "a non-flattering performance on a dry book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoyed hearing about the life of Patton, but it's not my favorite audio book. Like every great person and leader there are aspects of their life that might not be "to form" but there is a lot to be learned in this book both about Patton and about how to be a "blood and guts" field commander. The book itself appears to be very dry, a never ending string of excerpted quotes from letters, glossing over interesting parts of Patton's life and going into great detail on things like Patton's self-depreciating letter style and his head injuries. The book doesn't take you into the brain and life of patton as good biographies do, it simply recounts his letters and historical facts like a history book.. dry and uninspiring stuff for one of the most dynamic field commanders in the 20th century.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    not there yet


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It's like they hired Barack Obamma to read G.H.W. Bush's autobiography. Patton was a Type-A field general with many great qualities, a very "conservatively" minded individual with strong ideals and grand motivations. The narrator has an inflection while reading the book that seemingly betrays negative personal feelings towards Patton. It is like he doesn't like Patton or the book but he is hired to read it. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on Patton's character faults, but not much enthusiasm in his accomplishments. Granted the book is not exceptionally flattering, so that may be a large contributor. Like many audible books, it would be much better if the author was reading it.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    The movie Patton is better written and a more entertaining view of Patton, his life, his motivations, and his personality.


    Any additional comments?

    A general good rule to follow in Audible is that books read by the author themselves are best. In this style you have a biography written by a person with somewhat of an axe to grind and read by another person with seemingly similar convictions. It fails to capture what I believe is the true essense of Patton the person. I was hoping to be more inspired by the experience

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian BRADENTON, FL, United States 02-16-13
    Brian BRADENTON, FL, United States 02-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book, poor audio"
    Would you try another book from Martin Blumenson and/or William Lavelle?

    yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of William Lavelle’s performances?

    maybe


    Was Patton worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book about General Patton! The only downside was the audio quality was very poor, sounds like a recycled recording from an old book on tape and there are several breaks throughout the book with missing portions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olaf Jakarta, Indonesia 01-09-13
    Olaf Jakarta, Indonesia 01-09-13

    German by birth - cosmopolitan by conviction. A CFO enjoying dynamic and multicultural Asia. Classic car and history buff and scuba diver.

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    "What a man - book needs to be four times as long !"

    Having read many books about World War II and the highly recommendable book "Brothers, Rivals, Victors" about Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower, I knew quite a bit of Patton's war exploits but wanted to learn more about the evolution of this man. Here this book is truly outstanding and provides deep insight into how this splendid officer, gentleman and human being was shaped and what drove him. The World War II phase of his life, so full of triumphs and set backs, falls a little short of expectations but this time is extensively covered in other books. Patton was one of the few man I truly admire for all his facettes. He was a non-conformist who conformed because he had such an incredibly high standard of professionalism, duty and was a true patriot. I can recommend the book for anybody who wants to see the character behind the war hero and wants to understand how such an extraordinary personality is formed. Some historic flaws such as praising the 3rd U.S. army as the military force capturing the highest number of enemies ever (the war started before Germany declared war on the U.S.A. and bigger encirclements happend in the early months of the Russia campaign of the Wehrmacht) are not dimming the excellence of the content. Need a special teaser to listen ? Here is a Patton quote: "Troop leadership is like moving spaghetti - pushing from behind buckles the pasta - pulling from the front makes it moving". Just marvellous right ?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Falls Church, VA, USA 03-08-06
    Don Falls Church, VA, USA 03-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story - Fair audio"

    Patton's biography is a great listen, however, the audio quality is disappointing. The narrator is decent, but again, the quality made this review less than what it should be.

    It's great listening to the history of the end of WWII and the inner workings and political. intrique between him, Ike, and Bradley.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 03-07-14
    James 03-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting perspectives on a war legend"

    First of all - you can skip the first 4 chapters, which were rather long and boring and dealt with his family history, his time as a youth, etc. Chapter 5 is where it really all begins and discusses his WWI exploits and the post-war years leading up to WWII.

    This book really brought to bare some of the idiosyncrasies and events which defined Patton's character. Repeated head trauma from polo injuries, for example, may have been the cause for his often violent temper later in life. Also, despite what anyone might think, Patton was often plagued with self-doubt that he was never doing enough, or being all he could be. In his mid-50's before the start of WWII he had a major mid-life crisis where he thought the Army would feel he was too old, and miss the next war - thus denying him of what he believed was his destiny. Destiny, was something that Patton believed in - that he was born to lead men into combat. Even throughout WWII as various decisions were made by Eisenhower and other commanders, Patton often wondered if he would ever realize his true destiny, and would often become depressed - whenever he was not leading men, or in combat.

    Right after WWII there several very close calls Patton had - nearly freak accidents - which made him think that someone was trying to kill him. He even said to his children, upon returning home from the war briefly before going back to keep peace in Europe, that they would never see him alive again. He was right. Somehow, he knew he was going to die - but, as many friends and family believe - it was better than having him living the rest of his life in a world without a war. Patton said himself that, "Now that there is no war, I have lost all my value to this world". Nevertheless, it makes me wonder if there really was a plot to kill him from various political beliefs he held, including wanting to go to war with Russia, and showing public sympathy for some Nazi business leaders in Europe.

    Overall - an interesting book - but as I stated - the first four chapters were not really relevant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JURANDYR Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01-01-14
    JURANDYR Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Dou you want to know Patton? This is the place."
    What made the experience of listening to Patton the most enjoyable?

    The story itself. This is a hero at the fullest extention of the word, loaded with great deeds as well as deep downfalls. One might even think this to be a carefully crafeted work of fiction. Because it did hapen, Patton's life soars above any myth. He was a living myth.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Patton?

    His notes and letters, where he expressed his focused drive to become famous, his view on military tactics, and the role and attributes of a true leader.


    What about William Lavelle’s performance did you like?

    Clear voice, as well adequate emmotional rendering where applicable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely!e


    Any additional comments?

    Some small parts of the recording are damaged. It would be great having them fixed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles E. Gannon 01-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Single best biography of Patton"
    What did you love best about Patton?

    Concise and informative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What's not to like about Patton's story. In this case, well told.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The WWII years.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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