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Brief Mentions

[The Fatten Mind: The Professional Development of an Extraordinary Leader, by Roger H. Nye (Wayne, NJ: Avery Publishing Group) 224 pp., $12.95]

The perfect gift for the armchair warrior. The Patton Mind traces the intellectual development of a "profane man of action" who, Roger Nye notes, "left behind the most complete record of exhaustive professional study of any World War II general—or any general in American history, for that matter." Dyslexic as a child, Patton was the beneficiary of parents who continually read to him from the classics, ancient history, and Romantic poetry. He developed a prodigious memory, which undoubtedly helped nurture his sense of destiny, his belief in reincarnation, and hence his fearlessness. To perish bravely, like a legendary hero, was glorious, marking not the end of life, but an entry into Valhalla before one was reborn to take up the shield and sword once more. The Patton Mind is, in essence, a survey of the books that shaped and justified Patton's thinking. Patton disdained intellectuals, but he was a voracious reader of military history, biography, and tactics. The professional soldier had, in Patton's words, to "be so soaked in military lore that he does the military thing automatically." And though he said bluntly that soldiers were "killers," he was a good deal less bloodthirsty than some politicians. For all his aggressive fire, Patton was shot through with a famous...

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