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A Solid, Yet Brief, Overview of Gen. Pershing's Life
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