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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of War Letters and Behind the Lines, Andrew Carroll's My Fellow Soldiers draws on a rich trove of both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries to create a marvelously vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I, with General John Pershing featured prominently in the foreground.

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 US 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he almost went insane with grief and remained haunted by the loss for the rest of his life, as private and previously unpublished letters he wrote to family members now reveal.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.

Woven throughout Pershing's story are the experiences of a remarkable group of American men and women, both the famous and unheralded, including Harry Truman, Douglas Macarthur, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Teddy Roosevelt, and his youngest son, Quentin. The chorus of these voices, which begins with the first Americans who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in 1914 as well as those who flew with the Lafayette Escadrille, makes the high stakes of this epic American saga piercingly real and demonstrates the war's profound impact on the individuals who served - during and in the years after the conflict - with extraordinary humanity and emotional force.

©2017 Andrew Carroll (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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So good I sent a copy each to two friends.

Wonderful history. It was so good that I had to send a copy each to two friends.

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Great, detailed book about ...

Great, detailed book about the general who commanded the AEF in there First World War

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The Stories of Soldiers Always Tear at My Heart

The author, Andrew Carroll, has been a driving force to preserve the hand-written correspondences of Soldiers to their families during the chaos of war. The letters contain the fears and aspirations that wildly vary among the different Soldiers as much as their vastly varying backgrounds. This account is of those during the Great War, which is often overshadowed by World War II, but shouldn't be understood to be less horrific.

I first learned of this book from one of my new favorite historians, Candace Millard, who had an excerpt from the book regarding Quentin Roosevelt; it was powerful and heart-wrenching. Included in that were his father's, Theodore Roosevelt, sentiments about the tragedy of his youngest son's death.

Beyond Valor, by Patrick K. O'Donnell, is a similar telling (i.e., narratives from Soldiers) albeit about WWII and without the overriding theme of the Commander of the American Expeditionary Force. Which is really my only criticism of this book. My Fellow Soldiers should really be two separate books, one about Pershing and another about the Soldiers. Although the author combines the two well, I was left wanting to hear more about both but not jumbled up throughout one book. Anecdotes about Pershing would be appropriate in both accounts, but more appropriate by not taking away from other Soldiers and supplemental to a Pershing Biography.

I did slow down the speed of this book a bit (2.5x rather than my usual 3x) as I don't think the recording was as clear as others I listen to or Andrew Carroll (who was a great narrator of his work) isn't a professional narrator with a crisp and enunciating voice.

In the end, Mr. Carroll is a wonderful historian whose work preserving the voices of Soldiers is admired by this Soldier.

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