The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson: How an Irish Lion hunter Led the Jewish Legion to victory

Brian's latest book is, The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson: How an Irish Lion hunter Led the Jewish Legion to victory. (Syracuse University Press, 2008).
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.
"Brian delivers a charming biography of a modern Irish hunter and hero Patterson by highlighting his whole range of achievements: from hunter to war hero to family man. Patterson is portrayed as a most ambitious adventurer, risking his life during multiple African safaris--during an East African hunt in which he bested the man-eating lions terrorizing railroad workers-- as a commander in World War 1, and a fierce unlikely warrior for Zionism. Brian offers personal letters between Patterson and his wife, Frances, which show the lighthearted, expressive side of this otherwise tenacious man. Coupled with Brian's extensive research, it is difficult not to be drawn into this multi-faceted account of a driven hero and his time. Chapters are chronological but also topical, making his long and varied career easy to index, The first full-length biography of Patterson's lifre, it is also provocative, insightful and thorough." Publishers Weekly, 7/28/2008 .
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