Book Report: General George Patton: Old Blood and Guts by Alden Hatch (1950, 2006)

Book coverThis book is a brief biography of General Patton written not long after he died and with input from his family. So it’s completely laudatory, a homer bio, but, hey, it’s Patton. What’s not to like?

The book, as I mentioned, is very short (like 150 pages), but if you don’t know anything about the man, you’ll learn the basics. He came from a well-to-do Western family from the old West. He chased Pancho Villa. He rightly equated the tank with cavalry. And he beat a soldier who said he just couldn’t handle it, when the soldier was also stricken with malaria instead of just shell shock. He held his men to a high standard, and they ended up loving him for it. You know those signs in foreign lands saying, “George Bush, help us”? In the 1940s in Europe, they chanted for Patton to free them.

The book is too thin for a Management Lessons from George Patton piece (sorry, Jim), but worth reading just for the overview of an American icon.