Despite the title, this book tells two stories. It begins with an account of Col. Patterson’s adventures in Africa, but its major theme is really the development of Zionism, the creation of Israel, and the Colonel’s part in the process.
An Irish-born soldier of fortune, Patterson is introduced as a heroic, if at times imprudent and harsh commander. In Egypt he meets several hundred Russian Jewish refugees who are just as daring as he is. Together they form what eventually becomes the Jewish Legion, fighting in the British Army in World War I to free Palestine. Not easily cowed, Patterson defended his Jewish soldiers from blatant British anti-Semitism, to the detriment of his own career.
The book contains interesting behindthe- scenes views in its depiction of Patterson’s efforts on behalf of the passage of the Balfour Declaration.
Offered as an armchair adventure tale, the work also serves as the author’s tribute to his subject’s dedication to Jewish causes. Afterword, appendices, biographical notes, illustrations, index, prefix.
Jane Wallerstein worked in public relations for many years. She is the author of Voices from the Paterson Silk Mills and co-author of a national criminal justice study of parole for Rutgers University.