General John Pershing

John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was most famous as the commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front in World War I. He is the only American to be promoted, in his own lifetime, to General of the Armies, the highest possible rank in the United States Army to be considered that of a six-star general.

Author and historian Mitchell Yockelson will be at the Central Library Auditorium on June 24 at 2pm to discuss his revealing book of that impossibly daunting time through his definitive work Forty Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came to Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I. Download his book and other titles from our digital collections that tell about General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's exemplary leadership that led to the unlikeliest of victories.

Forty-Seven Days by Mitchell Yockelson

Review provided by Hoopla

The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and more experienced German army, costing more than twenty-six thousand deaths and leaving nearly a hundred thousand wounded. Yet in forty-seven days of intense combat, those Americans pushed back the enemy and forced the Germans to surrender, bringing the First World War to an end - a feat the British and the French had not achieved after more than three years of fighting. In Forty-Seven Days, historian Mitchell Yockelson tells how General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's exemplary leadership led to the unlikeliest of victories. Appointed commander of the American Expeditionary Forces by President Wilson, Pershing personally took command of the U.S. First Army until supplies ran low and the fighting ground to a stalemate. Refusing to admit defeat, Pershing stepped aside and placed gutsy Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett in charge. While Pershing retained command, Liggett reorganized his new unit, resting and resupplying his men, while instilling a confidence in the doughboys that drove them out of the trenches and across no-man's-land.

My Fellow Soldiers by Andrew Carroll

Review provided by OverDrive

Andrew Carroll's intimate portrait of General Pershing, who led all of the American troops in Europe during World War I, is a revelation. Given a military force that on the eve of its entry into the war was downright primitive compared to the European combatants, the general surmounted enormous obstacles to build an army and ultimately command millions of U.S. soldiers. But Pershing himself—often perceived as a harsh, humorless, and wooden leader—concealed inner agony from those around him: almost two years before the United States entered the war, Pershing suffered a personal tragedy so catastrophic that he almost went insane with grief and remained haunted by the loss for the rest of his life, as private and previously unpublished letters he wrote to family members now reveal. Before leaving for Europe, Pershing also had a passionate romance with George Patton's sister, Anne. But once he was in France, Pershing fell madly in love with a young painter named Micheline Resco, whom he later married in secret.

My Experiences In The World War, Volume I by General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing

Review provided by Hoopla

The Pulitzer prize has been the sought after goal of many thousands of writers ever since it was first awarded in 1917. In 1932, the Pulitzer in the history category was awarded to General John "Black Jack" Pershing for his two volume memoirs spanning his time in command of the American Forces in World War One. Given that Pershing should receive such an illustrious prize in the literary arena outside of his army career was a just testament to his multi-faceted and outstanding talents. As the First World War raged into its fourth year, the lifeblood of the Allied forces on the Western Front laid spilt on the fields of Northern France and Flanders. Their only hope in facing the German onslaught lay in the newly mobilized American forces, who had joined the struggle against the central powers in Germany and Austro-Hungary. It would take a commander of towering strength, firm loyalty, and iron determination to change the small American peacetime army into the millions strong wartime colossus it was to become. Such a man was John "Black Jack" Pershing. AS he took command, Pershing was faced with four almightily difficult challenges to overcome in order to achieve success; the first to turn the raw American Doughboys into an army, trained in the new tactics of the industrial carnage of the Western Front. Secondly, to ship enough men, and supplies across the U-boat infested Atlantic to create such an army. Thirdly, to keep his allies hands off American manpower that became trained and ready for battle, they should fight under American flags and American leaders. It was only once the first three huge challenges were overcome could he think about his fourth, how his new troops could fight and beat the battle-hardened German army: but fight and beat them they did! A Pulitzer Prize winning classic!

The World Remade by G.J. Meyer

Review provided by OverDrive

After years of bitter debate, the United States declared war on Imperial Germany on April 6, 1917, plunging the country into the savage European conflict that would redraw the map of the continent—and the globe. The World Remade is an engrossing chronicle of America's pivotal, still controversial intervention into World War I, encompassing the tumultuous politics and towering historical figures that defined the era and forged the future. When it declared war, the United States was the youngest of the major powers and militarily the weakest by far. On November 11, 1918, when the fighting stopped, it was not only the richest country on earth but the mightiest.

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