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on April 8, 2012
Jim Lacey the author of Pershing readily admits that General Pershing is not one of those great generals who have become so well memorialized by numerous military historians.

That being said, what Lacey has done is tell a superb story in a limited number of pages about how the US Army transitioned from the 19th century to the 20th century through the eyes of one who was a leader in the midst of this transition.

Lacey tells us what it is liked to lead the army through the later part of the 19th century into the 20th century where there were great advances of technology especially during the 1st World War.

Like most successful generals, we learn that Pershing had a tremendous work ethic that exceeded many if not all of his peers during the Army in the late 19th century. It was this work ethic and this understanding of logistics that Pershing would utilize in creating a successful American Army in Europe amongst the many failures of the the Allies during WW I.

Part of the Pershing legacy to the US Army we have today is his creation of a true General Staff and the establishment of the professional military education program for Army officers. By the time one finishes Lacey's work it becomes apparent that Pershing's greatest gift to the US military is that he created the framework for our modern Army of today.

This book is well worth reading if one is truly a student of US Army history.
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on July 22, 2008
The author, Jim Lacey, does an outstanding job of capturing the history of one of the first great military leaders of the 20th Century, General Pershing. It is undeniable the mark that Pershing left on the military after WWI, giving the United States a huge advantage when it saw action again during World War II. Lacey does a fantastic job of telling the life story of Pershing in 193 easy-to-read pages. For any student of history, more specifically military history, this text is a must read.
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on June 15, 2014
This short yet insightful treatment of General Pershing's life is an excellent piece of work. Jim Lacey has managed to capture the essence of the man and place it in the context of the time. Pershing and the first third of the Twentieth Century are often overshadowed by the Second World War and its pantheon of leaders. Lacey brings to light the years and man who created the foundation on which the Army of 1940. The beauties of this book are clarity and insight. I recommend it without reservation.
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on February 16, 2015
A short but good piece of work on "Blackjack" Pershing. I especially liked the information on how he fought the Moro's in the Philippines. Lessons could be learned about how to fight radical Islam from one of our military ancestors.

The books main focus was his leadership in the first world war. I am just getting interested in the first war and more American's should since world events seem to be playing out in the same scenario's.
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on January 23, 2016
Lacey's biography of General Pershing is a solid start for those hoping to introduce themselves to the subject for the first time or just wanting a general overview of his life and career. At just about 200 pages, there is not much room for details, although lengthier accounts exist for those seeking to really get a sense of Pershing's psychology and the context of turn-of-the-century United States in which Pershing lived.

It is obvious that Lacey admires his subject, justifiably addressing why Pershing's achievements during the First World War deserve greater recognition, yet is not above pointing out a number of the general's flaws. The majority of the book focuses on Pershing's stint as General of the Armies during WWI as one would expect, with over half the book covering that time period. However, other notable periods, such as Pershing's time at West Point or his hunt for Panch Villa, feel unfairly brief. A number of editing mistakes, while minor, also distract--such as General Robert Nivelle's name being misspelled three times in the same paragraph (pg. 87).

Overall, if you are looking for a basic account of Pershing, then Lacey's book will likely serve you well. If you are looking for more detailed material about the man or the American military experience in WWI, search out other accounts
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on May 26, 2010
I read this book as part of a research paper I did on the Spanish American War. This book is short but is filled with information and does not leave gaps in his life they way other biographies sometimes do that tend to focus on only big events. I think any one interested in the man, the time period or any of the event Pershing was a part of will find the length of this book, the content and is ease of reading a true pleasure. As an introductory to Pershing it should be first on anyone's list. I recommend this often to people curious on Pershing, or interested on American history at the turn of the last century in general. If you only read one book about Pershing make it this one.
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on August 24, 2013
I have read biographies of Pershing, and Pershing's own two-volume work describing his build-up of the AEF. But no work brings all the facts together as well as Lacey's. The author is always to the point, keeping the biography moving and always fresh. He also makes interesting observations about Pershing and his times that provide a most refreshing summation. The book is a real page-turner. Lacey has written a very necessary, highly enjoyable, must-read biography.
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VINE VOICEon May 7, 2015
These books along with the US President series shed serious light on some of our most famous military leaders like Jackson, Grant, Bradley, and Marshall. This book sheds light on John Pershing, who molded our US military during the Mexican Revolution and the First World War. It shows him to ultra competitive and disciplined in the way he performed his duties. Obviously his wife and the loss of most of his family in a house fire affected him personally. He was a cold formal man, who propelled the US Army into a competent military force.

This is a nice summary read about the famous military general. I recommend this book.
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on July 22, 2008
Author Jim Lacey clearly gives the GENERAL'S perspective of the events during Pershing's life. The reader gets no feeling of having been in the trenches although the general's perspective is presented quite well. The author, if he truly did set out to communicate only the view from above, was very successful and I do recommend this book for those who are interested in that angle.

The clearest example of this bias is the campaign against the Moros in the Philippines. The slaughter was presented as always a necessary thing. It makes one wonder. Perhaps the reader who wishes a broader perspective of Pershing's professional activities should compare and contrast views by other historians as well.
Paul Baum, Ph.D.
Living Historyist
Audrain County Historical Society
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on August 26, 2012
I read and enjoyed Jim Lacey's book "The First Clash" so when I went looking for a book on General Pershing and saw he authored one it was an easy decision to read this book. I was not disappointed.

Pershing's is an amazing story of a time in American history that is not as well known as it should be. My desire to understand the relationship of the Muslim world to the West often takes me to WWI and the Ottoman Empire. This provided some insight that I was looking for and was enjoyable to read too.
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