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The grandson of the legendary World War II general George S. Patton Jr., documentary filmmaker Benjamin Patton, explores his family legacy and shares the inspirational wit and wisdom that his grandfather bestowed upon his only son and namesake.
In revealing personal correspondence written between 1939 and 1945, General Patton Jr. espoused his ideals to Benjamin’s father, then a cadet at West Point. Dispensing advice on duty, heroism and honor with the same candor he used ordering the Third Army across Europe, Patton shows himself to be as dynamic a parent as a military commander.
Following in those famous footsteps, Benjamin’s father became a respected and decorated hero of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. Ironically, as he rose to major general, he also proved himself just as brave, flamboyant, flawed and inspiring as his father had been.
A study of a great American original, Growing Up Patton features some of the pivotal figures in Benjamin’s father’s life, including Creighton Abrams, the WWII hero who became his greatest mentor; Charley Watkins, a daredevil helicopter pilot in Vietnam; Manfred Rommel, the son of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel; Joanne Patton, the author’s mother and a resourceful fighter in her own right; and Benjamin’s mentally challenged brother, George. Growing Up Patton explores how the Patton cultural legacy lives on, and in the end, reveals how knowing the history of our heritage—famous or not—can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves.
INCLUDES NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED LETTERS BETWEEN GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON AND HIS SON DURING WORLD WAR II
INCLUDES NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS
With a name like Patton, it's impossible to write a book about family and not devote a sizable portion to the legendary WWII General George S. Patton Jr. (technically G.S.P. III). But this volume written by George's grandson and featuring plenty of anecdotes about his grandfather and father, George S. Patton IV is primarily a meditation on the bonds of family, the influence of heritage, and the importance of sharing one's stories. Born from previously unpublished letters (reprinted in the book) between the author's grandfather and father, as well as the author's interviews with his old man following a house fire that destroyed the dozens of diaries he'd kept over the course of his own illustrious military career, this book is by turns sweet, funny, and poignant. Patton discusses the exploits of his grandfather and father, and includes profiles of a handful of people who played a significant role in his their lives, such as General Julius Becton a professional rival and family friend and Manfred Rommel, the son of the German general Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (aka Desert Fox). At once an intriguing portrait of two of the American military's best-known heroes, Patton's debut is a poignant tribute to a family's rich history. Photos.