• My Fellow Soldiers

  • General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War
  • By: Andrew Carroll
  • Narrated by: Andrew Carroll
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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he almost went insane with grief and remained haunted by the loss for the rest of his life, as private and previously unpublished letters he wrote to family members now reveal.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

Critic Reviews

“Selecting excerpts from thousands of letters to highlight the human perception of the war, Carroll embeds these recollections in a clear, chronological war narrative that takes the reader from the beginning of the war in 1914 through President Wilson’s decision to enter the war in 1917 and the U.S. military’s combat experience for the remainder of the conflict. Carroll uses the personal correspondence of Gen. Pershing, the U.S. commander in France, as a means of establishing the war timeline. Varied American perspectives of the war are included, and the letters of African-Americans and women figure prominently in the work.... Carroll has produced an engaging and informative introduction to a war that has been largely relegated to the shadows by the subsequent global conflagration.” (Publishers Weekly)   

“Illuminating first-hand letters and diaries, including some newly discovered, enable the author to credibly deliver another historical non-fiction masterpiece.... The many stirring first-person accounts of soldiers, aviators, and volunteer American nurses combine to make this superbly crafted history highly recommended.” (Historical Novel Society) 

“A fascinating and timely history.... An accessible account of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and its commander, General John Pershing.” (Shelf Awareness) 

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Hearing it brings it more to life

I am working on the WWI monument for our Veteans Park and this was extremely helpful. Thank you.

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Don’t pass this up

This is a fantastic book regarding not just Gen Pershing’s life, but an overview of America’s involvement in WWI in general. It relates stories of the African American Hellfighters, the first fighter pilots, and accounts from troops on the front lines in interesting and informative ways. A must read for someone wishing to learn about the “war to end all wars.” Don’t pass this up.

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Thanks

Thank you so much for this wonderful lesson o true leadership. Also, it was wonderful to learn about his admiration for black troops and US Grant.

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A general overview of America’s involvement in WW1

I had purchased this book looking for some in depth knowledge of General Pershing. Not a lot of audio offerings on him. Book gives a general overview of the American involvement in the war as well as some first had stories. Some on Pershing but most on a few dough boys. It’s a good listen as most of the bigger battles of this war overshadow the American involvement, it was nice to get a solid grasp on it.

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Well Done Popular History

Authors pick and choose what facts to include and how to stich them together into a story. Mr. Carroll does so in a way both entertaining and informative. His book is not exhaustive for details. It is one of the best for enjoyable listening, fleshing out main characters and main actions of the war using chosen anecdotes. I recommend it.

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Good book

i like how it covered different people and all levels of invilvement with the war.

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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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