In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was very common for boys and young men to read about the lives of the so-called great men for the purpose of extracting lessons in how to be great themselves in whatever field they chose. I see these books as reviving that tradition by distilling ideas to their essence and putting them in a readily digestible form.
F.Shaw: As prolific as you are, how long did it take you to research and write this book? A.Axelrod: Well over a year. I do my research for one book while I write another—that way I get to read as well as write.
He (Patton) was tough. War is tough. Leaders have to be tough. He drove his army hard, yes, and he made many enemies among colleagues and subordinates, but he also produced results. He was indeed arrogant, but sometimes a good leader has to be larger than life. … But the fact is: again typically, Patton's admirers are no more specific in their praise than are his disparagers in their criticism.