Attentive to the last detail, rigid in his expectations of drill and execution, and fiercely protective of every man he commanded, General John J. Pershing helped shape the 20th century by leading American troops in a war that saved Europe. Alienating some and inspiring others, Pershing recognized the challenges of modern warfare and embraced them as life's mission. More than 60 years after his death, he personifies the image of an American general.
Army service in the Philippines and Mexico and alongside Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba served as a critical training ground for Pershing. When President Roosevelt promoted him to general in 1906, Pershing had been one of the army's oldest captains. Now, as one of its youngest generals, that training would be put to test in the coming Great War.
Author John Perry unveils a general somewhat neglected by history, a mystifying fact considering that at one time more than a million soldiers followed him into battle. When France and England yearned for much-needed support against a German juggernaut, Pershing established an aggressive strategy that incorporated overwhelming numbers and comprehensive engagement, a strategy that made all the difference. Not only were there honor and order in his methods, there was victory. A legend in his own time, Pershing became the first man to be appointed General of the Armies.