This biography of the much-discussed general holds the reader's sustained interest. We follow Patton's life from the early days in California to his death from a broken neck suffered in an accident near Bad Nauheim. Dedicated to a military career from the early age of ten, Patton never relaxed the Spartan self -discipline which he believed necessary to a good soldier. The author had access to unusual sources in writing about General Patton and the reader gets the benefit of this intimate knowledge in frequent touches of humor and anecdotes of family life. Although the book is sympathetic, no punches are pulled: Patton is shown with all his well-known contradictory traits of character. We see him as devoutly religious, yet frequently profane in language; an affectionate father and husband, but unsparing of his family in maintaining high standards of courage and duty; soft-hearted and emotional, yet ruthless and even abusive toward any unfortunate who showed or seemed to show lack of courage. ""Better to die than not to do your best"" was his motto. The book should be enjoyed by adults as well as adolescents.