Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General
By: Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Out of the three books I’ve read authored by this duo, Killing Patton was my least favorite. From the very start, I noticed Patton’s less than pleasant vocabulary. In my opinion, this turned out to be the book’s greatest downfall. Almost every time the great general was quoted, his speech included at least one foul word. Thankfully, this did not occur too often. However, his most heinous language came on the very first pages and would have deterred me from reading the book altogether had I not already paid for it and previously read credible work by O’Reilly and Dugard (namely Lincoln’s Last Days and Killing Jesus). Don’t get me wrong. The pair are incredibly talented and superb authors. It wasn’t their language I found offensive, but rather the historical narrative they shared.
Still, I struggled to get through the pages of this literary piece of history. I might have been distracted by the other open books I had on my shelf, but when a book grabs my attention, I’m typically eager to find moments to read it. This wasn’t the case with Killing Patton. It felt more like homework than anything else. Although I have come to love history more as a homeschooling mom, this book felt dry to me. Which sounds odd to say because so much of it was about a horrendous war that changed not only our nation, but our whole world. It is quite probable that the persistent facts of war strategy made my mind wander. For some, this book will prove to be a must-read, can’t-put-it-down kind of book. I’m just not one of them!
Reading Killing Patton has not deterred me from reading more of O’Reilly and Dugard’s work. I think Killing Kennedy is next on my list, and as Easter approaches, I still plan on sharing The Last Days of Jesus with my oldest son. If you are a history buff or are familiar with this series, you might find this book interesting. As a word of caution, besides the moments of crude language, some of the details in this book (and others) are true but hard to read. On the other hand, you might want to skip this one altogether!
If you have read this book or others by the same authors, I’d love to know what you think! What is your favorite biography of a hero (past or present)? Any recommendations on the best historically accurate, well-written and appropriate World War II book?