The final volume in Hamilton's three-part biography of Bernard Law Montgomery. The first two volumes gained some measure of...

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MONTY: Final Years of the Field Marshal, 1944-1976

The final volume in Hamilton's three-part biography of Bernard Law Montgomery. The first two volumes gained some measure of acclaim despite the fact that Hamilton was writing from the precarious perspective of friend of the family. This, in itself, is not enough to prejudice a biography. But in this new volume, Hamilton oversteps the bounds of good sense in attempting to uplift Monty's tarnished reputation. This may not have peeked through his earlier volumes, as Monty's successes could speak for themselves. But by late 1944 (when this volume opens) any British commander was destined to take a back seat to the Americans. It was Monty's reaction to this that tarnished him. Unfortunately, Hamilton tries to burnish the image by denigrating Monty's American equals. Irksomely, Hamilton insists on juxtaposing Eisenhower reveling in luxury at Versailles with Monty's roughing it (by choice) in his field tent. He can't just mention Omar Bradley--it has to be ""Bradley, called away from a private dinner with Marlene Dietrich,"" to respond to a battle dispatch. Hamilton expends the first half of this 900+ page book on the final seven months of the war. There is nowhere evident here any sympathy for Eisenhower's position as placater of all of the Allies. In that respect, Hamilton shows himself to be as narrow as Monty was in thinking that every strategy conceived by him should have been adopted sans debate. Important, despite its evident flaws and failings.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 1986

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1986