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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pershing: Commander of the Great War by John Perry

An interesting, well-written biography

Published: 2011 by Thomas Nelson

I've read several of the biographies in Thomas Nelson's "The Generals" series and found Pershing: Commander of the Great War to be the best of the bunch so far. The book is well-written, flows nicely and really gives the reader a feel for the bristly personality of "Black Jack" Pershing.

Perry introduces us to Pershing, a man who wanted to be a teacher, maybe a lawyer,  but accepted an appointment to West Point because he could not afford to pay for school himself. Pershing was not particularly interesting in being a soldier, but found that the lifestyle suited him. Pershing's early service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War taught him plenty of lessons about the need for proper supply lines that he took with when he commanded the American army in Europe in World War I.

World War I General 
John J. "Black Jack" Pershing
Pershing also served as an observer in the Russo-Japanese War, the Philippines and, of course, was in charge of the expedition that fruitlessly chased Pancho Villa in Mexico. For his time, Pershing was surprisingly open to different cultures, which probably explains his willingness to lead all black units in the segregated army (and is the source of his nickname "Black Jack"). But, he is most famous for commanding the American forces in World War I. Perry covers all of these events well and keeps it interesting. Perry is especially good at discussing Pershing's personal life and the tragic fire that took most of his family.

 I received this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in an exchange for an honest review.

I rate this biography 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Pershing: Commander of the Great War.

Reviewed on December 4, 2011.

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