An absorbingly interesting portrait of a military genius who at times seems slightly mad, and almost never wholly normal....

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ORDE WINGATE

An absorbingly interesting portrait of a military genius who at times seems slightly mad, and almost never wholly normal. Rebellious against authority, though he came from a line of army people, mysterious in his ruthlessness, his fanaticism, his unwillingness to explain his motives, Wingate-from school days on to the tragic end of his career in a plane disaster during the Burmese segment of his career -made more enemies than friends, and his biographer is at times hard put to sustain his defense. For an apologia this, to some extent, certainly is. Wingate's life was a constant war, whether he was fighting for his ideas (he was vigorously partisan-pro-Zionist, pro-Ethiopia, etc.) or fighting against his superior officers. It is a rare tribute to these superiors, and to Churchill, who consistently defended him, that they accepted his intransigence because of his brilliance. At times his partisanship verged on treason and he was called on to defend and explain his actions, There was a brief period when his morale was at such low ebb that he tried to take his life. After a rest period he was sent to the Burmese war theatre, where he brought guerrilla fighting to peak efficacy. Though thought a tyrant by some, his men respected him and the training paid dividends when they came through unbelievable ordeals. A man of contradictions, he never lost his strong religious faith. One closes the book, marvelling at the man-and his achievements- but wondering whether this particular type of genius has a significant role. Surely, he makes a fascinating subject for a biography. Major promotion planned.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 1959

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: World

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1959