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Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General

(The Killing of Historical Figures)

by
4.10  ·  Rating details ·  20,603 ratings  ·  2,172 reviews
Readers around the world have thrilled to Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus—riveting works of nonfiction that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now from Bill O’Reilly, anchor of The O’Reilly Factor, comes the most epic book of all in this multimillion-selling series: Killing Patton.
General George S. Patton, Jr. died under m
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Orene Mckenzie No one tells the story like O'Reilly. It is a very informative book..."puts flesh on the bones" of names we've read about for years. If history were t…moreNo one tells the story like O'Reilly. It is a very informative book..."puts flesh on the bones" of names we've read about for years. If history were taught in schools this way, everyone would love the subject. So to answer your question, YES, this subject needed the O'Reilly/Dugard scrutiny.(less)
Joe Dettelis O'Reilly is a storyteller and a journalist so he does what he does well and he tells the story. He relies on the professional historian for the essent…moreO'Reilly is a storyteller and a journalist so he does what he does well and he tells the story. He relies on the professional historian for the essential and peripheral historical research and gives him credit on the cover for helping tell the story. There are plenty of authors who write this genre who do the same thing but don't tell you who the historian is. Yet they authored an original story. Just because an artist or a writer can afford or uses a staff doesn't mean he's not writing an original. As for doing it by himself that is quite an impractical presupposition in your question. What major, serious writer, with funding writes anything all by themselves these days.(less)

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Jane
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book would be better titled, "Vignettes for People Who Know Nothing about the Last Months of WWII, Plus a Few Pages Speculating on Patton's Death and Why There Was No Investigation Of The Accident."
Mike (the Paladin)
I debated a bit whether to go 4 or 5 stars here. I finally went with 5 as the book is readable, interesting and well researched. It may not be exceptional but it does what it set out to do. I liked it.

I noted that the book seems to get mostly mid-range to higher ratings...though not universally, LOL. One person who gave a lower rating said that they'd never read anything about this in history and anyway, nothing was said about it in the George C. Scott movie.

sigh.

This isn't the first book I've r
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Carol
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
General George S. Patton, Jr. - November 11, 1885 - December 21, 1945

As usual, O'Reilly draws the reader in with his first sentence. "The man with forty-five minutes left to live cannot defend himself." He then goes on to describe the somewhat suspicious and ultimately deadly accident that took the life of General Patton.....including his last words to Eleanor.

In KILLING PATTON, we get bits and pieces of WWII and a peak at the personal lives and bizarre deaths of Hitler and Stalin. Eisenhower, F

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Thomas Smith
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've probably read 30-40 books on WWII, and I still learned a lot from this one. One of the main differences between this one and the rest of the O'Reilly "Killing" books is that he doesn't really answer the question (nor is it his intent). The book does a great job of capturing a lot of the "macro" issues in play at the time during the way, and assessing the consequences of decisions made over the last 70 years. Say what you want about Patton, but his main interest was to preserve and protect t ...more
Jean
This is the first time I have read a book written by Bill O’Reilly. I almost did not buy it because of O’Reilly but the suggestions that he could prove that General Patton was assassinated intrigued me. I got the book to see if O’Reilly would reasonably prove his claim. The death of General Patton in December 1945 is one of the enduring mysteries of World War II. For seventy-four years, there have been suspicions and lots of conspiracy theories that his death was not an accident. O’Reilly and Du ...more
Ed
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With a BA in History (admittedly earned more than a few years ago), I thought I had the complete story of George Patton's brilliant military career, especially his decisively bold and effective leadership of the US Third Army, post D Day. Bill O'Reilly, in his outstanding history of not only the very strange death of Patton in an automobile accident but the various parties both foreign and domestic with the means, motive and opportunity to contract out his assassination. His audacious accomplish ...more
Clif Hostetler
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I am not a fan of Bill O'Reilly's TV show. But I'll grant that he has a knack for writing "popular" books about interesting events in history. Numerous acquaintances of mine have recommend The Killing Series of history books to me. This is the first of that series that I've read, and I'll have to admit that it's as enjoyable (dare I say entertaining?) presentation of history as can be made.

This book is actually a history of the western European front of World War II with a focus on General Patto
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Carlos
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this book if you like WWII narratives , but if you are looking for an explanation of who if anybody killed General Patron you won't find it here . Otherwise this book was a great study into the last months of the war and a glimpse into the lives of great men who shaped those days , with an emphasis on General Patton!
Jim Brown
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is the fourth in a series of books written by Bill O'Reilly and it is by far his best. My guess is that most people under the age of 50 have no idea who General Patton is or what he accomplished. This book is more about the history of WWII than the actual killing of Patton. If you like history this book is for you. If you think you know what happened to Patton this book is for you. I would strongly encourage you to give this book to children over the age of 13 to read because it is about hi ...more
Jeanette
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
First of all, Bill O'Reilly writes in a style that is close, no identical, to the way he speaks. So saying someone else is writing the whole book for him (stated by other posters) is just wrong. As are some of the evaluations of his placements within the present politico too. Obviously, some have made judgments of extreme bias without once having listened to the man at all. He is not a strong Conservative. In fact, so moderate that he has to be rude to get a word in during his own show, at times ...more
Gary Schantz
Sep 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For starters, in all my years of reading about history, this story has never come up. Not in the least. My grandparents were of the WWII generation and they never mentioned this "possible assassination". My history teachers never mentioned this either. Not in high school. Not in college. No one and considering that I live in the land of opinions I find it hard to believe that only Bill O'Reilly has managed to prove this murder is not a conspiracy but a truth.

To be fair, I read the opening chapte
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Dell Deaton
Killing Patton first struck me as something akin to a sixth-grader's book report, written by a student only tangentially enthusiastic about its premise. General George S Patton, Jr, inexplicably disappears from the prose for long periods. This, in favor of digressions into fiction-enhanced and not terribly relevant tangents focused on historical contemporaries, large and small, often several steps removed.

Nothing new or uniquely compelling here.

(And I'm very open to intrigue, if not outright c
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Derek
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
This belongs in the alternate history fiction category as that is all this is, a work of fiction. To pawn this off as real history is a travesty. There is NOTHING presented in this book except some dusty old conspiracy theory with no proof or even compelling evidence to support the claim that he was assassinated.

Here is a news flash for everyone. General Patton was killed in an automobile accident, notice the word accident, end of story.

Do not waste your time or money on this book. It dishonor
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Katie Gronsbell
Oct 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sadly disappointed in this very poorly written book....
I've read all of Bill O'Reilly's books and can't understand how he and his co writer went so wrong on this one. The last 50 pages were the best part. I trudged through the first part reading information that seemed impertinent to the premiss of the book.
Dj
Dec 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
It is fairly rare that I find a history book, that is about worthless. This is one of those occasions. I have no clear idea what it is that Bill O'Reilly is trying to prove with such a provocative title, after all Assassination by Auto Accident is a pretty unreliable way to kill someone, but after reading a third of the book I have no real desire to wade through the rest of it. The writing style is that of a sensationalist and the little errors of facts that are oddly wrong, when a simple check ...more
Albert Town
Oct 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
What purports to be a new twist upon the death of General George Patton fails. It fails because a question of sufficiency of evidence- Mr. O'Riley makes an allegation and fails to carry his burden. Moreover, he glosses over the rich details leading to successful conclusion of the war against Germany. Moreover, he fails to develop the reason why Mr. Winston Churchill loathed the USSR. Would not recommend it.
Bob
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Note to O'Reilly and Dugard: Fire your editor! Or better yet, kill him. This is one of the most poorly written novels I have ever tried to read. Why do I call it a novel when it's actually historical fiction? The very fact that I can say that should give you a clue. Why do I say "tried to read?" That's because after only 75 pages I don't think I can finish it.

To be fair I don't think this book is a complete waste. It would sit quite nicely in the "Humor" section of any library. But I do think
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Carol Storm
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Oddly enough, the portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower is more interesting than that of Patton. As a skilled administrator and leader, one who never strikes before it's necessary, Ike comes across as complex, even enigmatic, while Patton is more of a blowhard who overcompensates in order to cope with some fairly obvious insecurity.

Long on salacious gossip and far out rumors, but short on legitimate history. Oh, and thanks for passing along Patton's most paranoid and racist remarks about the Russian
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J Stanley
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Very good review of the days before the end of the war. Lots of questions left unanswered, and seems that a cover up could be in play. I agree the case needs to be reopened, and files need found. What I love best is the things I learned, and the details I picked up. I have studied quite a bit on this time in WWII and heard some personal details from people involved. The use of personal journals kept truly opens up what it was like, and how the people involved acted. The authors did a great job i ...more
Cammie
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
O'Reilly's Killing Patton provides a look at WWII, especially those in charge.
While I have read much WWII historical fiction and Holocaust accounts, the life, leadership, and death of George S. Patton, Jr., are not something I am very familiar with other than to know he was a general during WWII. O'Reilly's factual accounts are very informative.
Mark Mitchell
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. If you have read anything about World War II and if you have ever watched the movies Patton and The Last Days of Patton you will learn nothing new by reading the book. This was my second O'Reilly book, and I thought Killing Jesus was excellent and have recommended it many times, but this one does not get my recommendation.
Eric
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the sixth Killing book I've read by O'Reilly and Dugard and I think the best of the six. The authors take you inside the person, in this case General George S. Patton, and his thoughts. Patton suffered one major fault in the world he had risen in. Patton was a warrior. Politics were never in his make up, but unfortunately among his superiors, politics were everything. Patton made decisions based on strategy and battle conditions. He believed in his men and fellow warriors. Patton was a l ...more
thewanderingjew
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I have listened to a couple of other Bill O’Reilly books. They were all read by him, and he did a pretty good job. However, this one disappointed me. He has a speech impediment which I never realized before, and it was distracting. Also, his pronunciation of some words was off as was his emphasis in some places. For this book, he should have had an outside reader.
The narrative’s timeline began at the end and then filled in the missing spaces, but often it was choppy and confusing because he boun
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Licha
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, holocaust, wwii
I really enjoy reading Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s books. I wish history had been this fascinating when we were taught in school. For all the negativity surrounding O’Reilly due to his political views, I give him credit for making history entertaining and opening up my curiosity to research other historical events or people mentioned in his books. People forget about Dugard, who is probably the main writer here. They would rather knock these books down because of the O’Reilly name being at ...more
Laura
Oct 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Patton is such an intriguing character, but this book meanders around much of WW2 that is already known. For years speculation around his death included Ike, Stalin, etc. as having motives to want Patton dead. Nothing new here, doesn't even really build much of a case for various people wanting him dead except for Patton's outspoken opinion about the Russians being the true enemy. Didn't even bring up Ike's motives and ruthlessness, perhaps due to O'Rielly's far right leanings. More fluff to cap ...more
Vannetta Chapman
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book.
Well researched and well told.
It certainly helped me to understand a bit more about my father's generation--those who fought in WWII.
And it raises some interesting questions!

Highly recommend.
Erik
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
File this one under that category of "Books that aren't great, but that are worth reading." I enjoyed it, and learned quite a bit of WWII history in the process. Was Patton murdered? I'm not sure, but can't help but wonder why I never heard this possibility before if it is, in fact, the truth.
Mattie B
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sheds a brutally honest light on WW2 as a whole, not just on Patton’s role, and takes the reader through an account of the war from shifting perspectives among all parties involved - up until Patton’s intriguing death shortly after WW2 ended.

Would definitely recommend for those who enjoy history & particularly war recollections; the authors do well to focus on controversial alliances, conflicting egos/personalities, battle strategies, and behind-the-scene political agendas. Can confirm, I was e
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John Uit
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very engaging paper turner book for those who love history. I learned so much. Of course any book about Patton is loaded with foul language. I also felt the author went too broad at several places (Anne Frank, really!?). The footnotes were interesting. I look forward to more “killing” books.
Donna Magoun
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really good book learned much about history and enjoyed the audible format
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page count 2 12 Aug 05, 2018 10:11AM  
Historical Fictio...: Fiction versus non-fiction 8 38 Dec 06, 2016 09:59AM  
My Dad was with Patton in WWII 7 41 May 26, 2016 10:58AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly 2 21 Jun 01, 2015 02:33PM  
What if...? 1 19 Feb 21, 2015 11:26AM  
Patton 5 37 Feb 07, 2015 08:38AM  

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Bill O'Reilly's success in broadcasting and publishing is unmatched. The iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor led the program to the status of the highest rated cable news broadcast in the nation for sixteen consecutive years. His website BillOReilly.com is followed by millions all over the world.

In addition, he has authored an astonishing 12 number one ranked non-fiction books including the hist
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Other books in the series

The Killing of Historical Figures (9 books)
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Jesus: A History
  • Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)
  • Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence
  • Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History
  • Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America

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“Americans despise cowards,” Patton continued all those months ago, putting his own spin on U.S. history. “Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.” 3 likes
“Give me four days so that my planes can fly, so that my fighter bombers can bomb and strafe, so that my reconnaissance may pick out targets for my magnificent artillery. Give me four days of sunshine to dry this blasted mud, so that my tanks roll, so that ammunition and rations may be taken to my hungry, ill-equipped infantry. I need these four days to send von Rundstedt and his godless army to their Valhalla. I am sick of this unnecessary butchering of American youth, and in exchange for four days of fighting weather, I will deliver You enough Krauts to keep Your bookkeepers months behind in their work. “Amen.” 2 likes
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