I have always been fascinated by great generals and their monumentous achievements in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Hence I found the book “Pershing: Commander of the Great War by John Perry” to be an excellent treat.
In this biography of John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, the author paints a portrait of Pershing, not only as the brilliant yet demanding and difficult-to-please military leader in action-“nothing imperfect escaped his notice or criticism”-but also chronicles Pershing’s role as a loving husband and father, an excellent dancer, and a true friend to those fortunate enough to know him well off the battlefield. There's not much about his childhood, but his life at West Point and in the military before World War I is thoroughly explained, and really interesting to read. Pershing served in the West, learning to get along with Native Americans and Mexicans; apparently he was quite good at peacemaking and helping everyone live with each other. This experience served him very well when he was posted to the Philippines and expected to quell the Muslim Moro minority, which was inclined to fight the Americans as much as they had fought the Spanish. Pershing did his best to make friends with the Moros and calm the tensions in the area, and he was very successful. Such excerpts from the life of this great man really makes this a must read for biography fans.
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