Known for his rousing speeches and military triumphs, General George S. Patton, Jr. is one of the most famous military figures in U.S. history. Yet, he is better known for his profanity than his prayers. Until now. In his new book George S. Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer, author Michael Keane takes readers on a journey through Patton’s career in three parts: his military prowess, his inspirational bravery, and his faith. Using Patton’s own diaries, speeches, and personal papers, Keane examines the general’s actions and personality to shed light on his unique and paradoxical persona. From his miraculous near-death experience to his famous prayer for fair weather, Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer recounts the seminal events that contributed to Patton’s personal and religious beliefs. Comprehensive and inspiring, Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer is an extraordinary look at the public and private life of one of World War II's most storied generals.
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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.
Praise for Patton:
Michael Keane weaves together a tight, fluid narrative focusing on several of my grandfather’s most important influences. Though a complex man of many contradictions, faith and prayer were very much at the heart of who he was and why he was so successful.”
Benjamin Patton, author of Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History, and Family Wisdom
Patton aficionados tired of waiting for a fresh look at their hero need wait no longer. Michael Keane has crafted an elegant profile of George S. Patton Jr. that discards the filler and weaves a tapestry of mesmerizing stories that captures the brilliance and complexity of America’s most unique and successful field commander. Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer reads like a novel, but is truly biography at its best.”
Richard D. Chegar, Major General, USA (ret); Past Chairman, the Patton Museum Foundation
Blood and guts’ are terms that fit George Patton like a proverbial glove, and author Michael Keane’s finely wrought, fast-flowing narrative captures Patton’s literal embodiment of those two words. Keane, however, also does something else. He compellingly crafts the religious core that infused virtually every aspect of the controversial, hard-driving general, who never asked his men to do anything he wouldn’t ask of himself and whose legendary fearlessness was that of a man with deep faith. Thanks to Keane’s scholarship and vivid writing, one comes away with a newfound and fuller perception of this complex commander.”
Peter F. Stevens, author of Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion
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