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The product of nearly 25 years of research, Pershing: General of the Armies remains one of the most authoritative biographies of the man known as "Black Jack." Newly appointed head of the American Expeditionary Forces, Pershing sailed for Europe in May 1917. Once in France, he set about the task of building an army. By October the Americans were at the front and over the next year became involved in increasingly significant battles, all vividly recounted here: Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Mihiel, and the 47-day slugfest in the Meuse-Argonne. Although the impact of the American forces on the outcome of the war has been much debated, there is no question that the troops acquitted themselves well under Pershing's command. Pershing's postwar life included an unsuccessful run for president, a stint as Chief of Staff, and a secret romance with a French woman 34 years younger than he; nonetheless, his influence as a leader extended into World War II.
Donald Smythe (1927-1988) was Professor of History at John Carroll University in Cleveland and lectured at the Army War College and the National War College.