Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Pershing: Commander of the Great War (The Generals) Hardcover – October 10, 2011
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
John Perry graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University, with additional studies at University College, Oxford, England. Before beginning his career as an author in 1997, he was an award-winning advertising copywriter and radio producer. John has published 21 books as an author, collaborator, or ghostwriter. He is the biographer of Sgt. Alvin York, Mary Custis Lee (wife of Robert E. Lee and great granddaughter of Martha Washington), and George Washington Carver. Among other books, he has also written about the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial (Monkey Business, with Marvin Olasky, B&H Publishing, 2005) and contemporary prison reform (God Behind Bars, Thomas Nelson, 2006). He is a two-time Gold Medallion finalist and Lincoln Prize nominee. He lives in Nashville.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
So writes John Perry in the introduction of his biography of John J. "Black Jack" Pershing who commanded the American Expeditonary Force in World War One.
Born prior to the Civil War (and able to recall a battle that came to his home personally in Laclede, Missouri in 1864 near to his 4th birthday) and dying after the Second World War, Perry's telling of Pershing and his life and accomplishments makes clear to this reviewer that he was a military officer who was a bridging figure in the conduct of war whose use of coordinated attacks and innovations such as the Military Police in World War 1 was the precursor of modern 20th century warfare.
Part of Thomas Nelson's series The Generals, Perry introduces us to an American General he believes has fallen to either the "second or third tier of America's historical consciousness" in part of because of his nitpiking ways. As he does so he also re-introduces us to the developments both domestically and internationally as well as militarily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Sympathetically and firmly written, Perry brings to the fore a portait of really two men: the demanding task master in uniform and the devoted and passionate man, husband, father, and... dancer who was rarely seen by those in uniform. In doing so he provides a diverse picture of Pershing.Read more ›
The book though is written much like Pershing himself, stiff and cold. There was a lot that the author brought to light about Pershing's personal life, but the writing lacks conviction. It's almost like the author had to pound out N number of words in order to receive a paycheck. Clinically the facts are correct (or I assume so), but there is just no "life" in the prose.
Now war is a dirty word. With it, thousands of people die. And much to my dismay, humankind cannot seem to live without it. Therefore, the military is in a strange position. When war is imminent, the Armed Forces are built up and soldiers and sailors are sent to do their duty. At the time, they are rewarded and often glorified. However, when America is at peace, her citizens often forget the relevance and importance of her men and women in uniform.
This book is not only about the military career of John Pershing, it is also about the making of the United States of America in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is also heartening to catch more than a glimpse of Pershing's private life. Pershing's most conspicuous attainment was to be named General of the Armies, a rank only achieved by George Washington, and posthumously at that. He was a decisive factor in winning World War I and was steadfast in not allowing the French Army to use US soldiers in a joint effort, but rather stuck to his guns and fought as a separate, distinct American army.
To show you how times change, I am going to quote a passage from the book that would be outlandish and grounds for court marshaling if it happened in Afghanistan today: "Lieutenant Patton led a squad of ten men who killed two Mexicans leaders including Julio Cárdenas, commander of Villa's personal bodyguard.Read more ›
John J. Pershing led the American forces in WWI (and MacArthur, Patton, and Marshall all served under him). He resisted all pressures to integrate American soldiers as replacements for casualties in French and British units, insisting they fight instead as American units. He then refused to rush his new and untested soldiers into battle until they were prepared to fight, and once they joined the offensive his units defeated the Germans in only six months of action. But his military career began long before the first World War. Pershing also served in the Spanish American War in Cuba and in the Philippines where he managed to subdue the Moro tribes using minimal military force. Instead, he treated them with respect and turned enemies into friends.
In fact, one characteristic of Pershing I found particularly admirable was that he didn't allow racism to affect his judgment. He led units of black soldiers in Cuba and in the American West which was how he got his nickname - "Black Jack" Pershing - which was originally meant derogatorily. But he was much more than just a soldier and general. He originally planned to go into law and his early jobs were as a teacher - he only joined the military to pay his way through school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had higher hopes for this book. I wanted to know what made Pershing a great commander and, instead, learned more about the women he dated.Published 12 days ago by S. Bassin
Great book. I only wish there was more detail on his life after retirement.Published 20 days ago by Walter B Turner
Great reading. Pershing was a man of great character, integrity, and compassion. A must read.Published 3 months ago by Tava L Boyd
Great read. Pershing was a great American and Mr Perry did a great job bring forth what he was about.Published 5 months ago by Stephen Logue
Well written story that was hard to put down - strongly recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about WWI and leadership.Published 12 months ago by Mary Chase