Adventure Between the Page: Perishing by John Parry

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Recommend for: Ages 13 and up, history buffs, WW I enthusiasts, those wishing a better understanding of history, those interested in military history
From the back cover:
No other American military leader is so important and yet so little known as John J. Pershing.
He led an army of more than a million men in France, defeating the seemingly invincible German war machine with only six months of offensive action. He was an American hero, and yet, today, General Pershing has faded away to the second or third tier of America’s historical memory. His accomplishments rightly place him in the company of great generals such as MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Patton, all of whom he commanded and inspired, and all of whom he outranked. He shaped world events in Europe as surely as Woodrow Wilson or David Lloyd George, so why has America forgotten him?
John Perry chronicles the life of a strong, inflexible leader who was an insufferable nit-picker on the job, but a faithful friend, tender husband, and devoted father. To the small group fortunate enough to know him, Pershing was a great and wonderful man. To the rest, he was stiff, cold, impersonal, and best avoided. Remembered as a stern taskmaster, he was driven not by devotion to discipline but devotion to duty. Not only was there honor and order in his methods, there was victory. And that is the lesson this teacher leaves with us.
One of the things that I realized this year is that I have really missed my biographies.  I used to read twice as many books on history and people in history as I did fiction works.  I spent hours reading about daily life in the Middle Ages, pouring over the life of William Tyndale, and searching our shelves for another biography of Abigail Adams.  However, over the past few years, I have drifted away from that.

When I signed up for BookSneeze, I decided to go back to my first love and read a book about a great person is history.  A General whose name I had only heard about, but not studied  seemed like a great way to start.  I enjoyed the book, and it made be hungry for more.  So look for more book reviews coming on historical themes.

What I liked about this book:
The book was paced well.  The author did an excellent job and not speeding through some of John J. Perishing’s life and dragging through other parts of it.  It kept on at steady pace and kept me interested.  It was one of the best paced biographies I have ever read.

I always like learning about people I don’t know about in history.  This was no exception.  John J. Perishing was a fascinating character, who lived in an intriguing time.

I loved that the author was honest and didn’t try to make Perishing into something he was not.  Many Christian biographers try to find the Christianity in people who just didn’t have it.  In this case, Perishing was very private about his beliefs and did some things that I shook my head at.  However, if was authentic without over glorifying sin.

What I didn’t like about it:
There was some mild language, although most of the quotes they used that had language in them were edited.
Pershing was a ladies' man, and after his first wife died he didn’t commit to another woman until near the very end of his life.  Although, he did have several long lasting affairs.  John Perry did an excellent job of giving the facts, without going to into too much detail.

Over all, I recommend this to those interested in history, those learning about WW I, or looking for an easy historical read.


I received this book from Thomas Nelson (through BookSneeze.com) in exchange for my honest review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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