John J. Pershing And The American Expeditionary Forces In World War I, 1917-1919
Edited by John T. Greenwood
Hardcover, 628 pp., 2017
General of the Armies John J. Pershing (1860--1948) had a long and distinguished military career but is most famous for leading the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. He published a memoir, My Experiences in the World War , and has been the subject of numerous biographies, but the literature regarding this towering figure and his enormous role in the First World War deserves to be expanded to include a collection of his wartime correspondence. Carefully edited by John T. Greenwood, volume 1 of John J. Pershing and the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 1917—1919 covers the period of April 7 through September 30, 1917. The letters speak to such topics as Pershing's appointment to command the US expeditionary force, his initial preparations, and early meetings with Allied civilian and military leaders, including Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and General Henri Philippe P tain. Drawing heavily on Pershing's extensive personal papers, this collection includes his letters and cablegrams exchanged with Secretary of War Newton D. Baker and the Chiefs of Staff Hugh L. Scott and Tasker H. Bliss. The inclusion of extracts from the large volume of seldom-used cablegrams is an important contribution to Pershing's wartime story. Two appendixes provide the reader with details of Pershing's relations with the Allied governments and armies (as he reported them in an unpublished part of his Final Report of Gen. John J. Pershing in 1920) and his personal appraisal of Marshal Ferdinand Foch as he knew him during the war. These volumes of wartime correspondence provide new insight into the work of a legendary soldier and the historic events in which he participated.