GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON JR.'S PERSONAL COPY OF OCEAN RACING, TWICE SIGNED BY HIM
(PATTON, Jr., George S.) LOOMIS, Alfred F. Ocean Racing. The Great Blue-Water Yacht Races 1866-1935. New York: William Morrow, 1936. Octavo, original blue cloth. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $8800.
First edition of this classic work on ocean racing, signed in ink on the front board by General Patton and boldly signed and dated by him ("June 27 1936") on the front free endpaper.
"General George S. Patton Jr. has earned a place in the pantheon of authentic American heroes…. [Yet] his great success on the battlefield did not come about by chance…. He read voraciously" (D'Este, Patton, 3-4, 317-18). This copy of Ocean Racing—Patton's own copy—is twice signed by him. No other military leader wrote so frequently in his letters or diary what he was reading, and no leader's library was so well-documented since Napoleon's. Patton's library, which was almost entirely inherited by his son, Major General George Patton III, was given to West Point, with just a small portion of books, including these volumes, inherited by other descendants or friends. Some years ago, when a prominent bookseller was discussing Patton's library with his son, his son remarked, "My old man could afford to buy the books and he could afford to write in them—nobody else in the army had any money." Patton's book collection remains a testament to the value he placed on books and the interest he took in them as tools for learning. This volume reflects Patton's interest in the sea. Three years after signing this volume, he had a schooner built—named the When and If—that he intended to sail around the world after World War II, a plan left tragically unfulfilled by his untimely death in 1945 after a jeep accident. With frontispiece and 30 pages of illustrations and maps. With an equation in pencil on the same page as Patton's dated owner signature.
Some toning to cloth. Patton often traveled with what he was reading, even on campaigns, and his books typically show signs of substantial wear. A handsomely boxed volume with wonderful provenance.