My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War

Written by Andrew Carroll
Review by Thomas j. Howley

Illuminating first-hand letters and diaries, including some newly discovered, enable the author to credibly deliver another historical non-fiction masterpiece. This book focuses on General Pershing, from his time pursuing bandit Pancho Villa in Mexico through his command of 1.5 million troops in WWI. The American military is absurdly tiny and unprepared for what is to come. General Pershing must overcome immense obstacles, including a president and an enormous portion of the U.S. population who are adamantly against war with the Germans. The lurid descriptions of this first truly global war in the hideously primitive conditions of the trenches are riveting and informative.

The letters assure the personal and human aspects are in the fore. Pershing suffers a seemingly unendurable family tragedy just before assuming command. Names who will be famous in the next war figure in as well: Truman, MacArthur, Patton, Marshall, Bradley and “Wild Bill” Donovan. The many stirring first-person accounts of soldiers, aviators, and volunteer American nurses combine to make this superbly crafted history highly recommended.