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Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly) Colt’s second novel (after Grasshoppers in Summer) is hyped as a story about George Patton’s early career as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, but really is much more. Scott uses Patton’s seemingly dead-end career as a 30-year-old second lieutenant to connect to the much larger story of the Army’s punitive expedition into Mexico in 1916, following Pancho Villa’s bloody raid on the border town of Columbus, N.Mex. While Patton whines about his dismal future as a cavalryman, revolution in Mexico pits dictators and corrupt federales against revolutionaries and bandits like Villa, with German agents trying to stir up war between the U.S. and Mexico. Patton accompanies General John “Black Jack” Pershing on the Army’s expedition into northern Mexico, vainly pursuing Villa and his bandits for months through mountains and deserts. Battles are fought and atrocities occur, as American and Mexican soldiers and diplomats maneuver for military and political advantage. Patton does get his chance at glory, engaging in a wild gunfight with a general, a seminal event in Patton’s life, the test of his courage that he always sought. The Patton angle is certainly interesting, but it’s Scott’s sweeping and historically vivid portrayal of the punitive expedition, American and Mexican relations, and German double-dealing that really makes this novel an exciting and stunning success. (Dec.)
Patton, George S. (George Smith), 1885-1945 Fiction. FICTION / Historical. Biographical fiction. Historical fiction.