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The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson

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The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson

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The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson
How an Irish Lion Hunter Led the Jewish Legion to Victory
By Denis Brian
Syracuse University Press: 2008
ISBN: 0815609272

Book Description:

In this biography of Colonel John Henry Patterson, Denis Brian reveals his subject to be a composite of diverse identities. An Irish-born soldier, lion hunter, bridge builder, East African game warden, author, man-about-town, and Zionist, Patterson's life is a fascinating story, and Brian's well-researched account gives a revealing look into the ebb and flow of circumstances that produced such a colorful character.

Brian begins the narrative with Patterson's assignment in East Africa, where lion attacks were terrorizing workers on a railroad project. With the sure hand of the storyteller, Brian details accounts of Patterson quelling the rebellion and killing the lions himself. The colonel's indomitable energy and courage become a consistent theme in the book as the author traces Patterson's life from his days as a British socialite to his command of the Jewish Legion of volunteers who helped drive the Turks out of Palestine.

Patterson spent most of his later years as an ardent Zionist, working for the creation of a Jewish homeland until his death in 1947, a year before the birth of the state of Israel. Drawing on an impressive range of sources, Brian's biography of this "Righteous Gentile" is an incisive portrait of a key figure in both Israeli and colonial British history.


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