"THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW PRACTICALLY NOTHING OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED OVER THERE": EXCELLENT PRESENTATION-ASSOCIATION COPY OF PERSHING'S MEMOIRS OF WORLD WAR I, INSCRIBED BY HIM TO A COLONEL MENTIONED IN THE BOOK
PERSHING, John J. My Experiences in the World War. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1931. Two volumes. Large octavo, publisher's blue cloth, top edges gilt, original dust jackets.
First trade edition of the 1931 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history, presentation-association copy inscribed in Volume I by Pershing to the chief stevedore at the Port of Brest, France: "For Col. John O'Neill, Recalling his especially efficient services during the World War, John J. Pershing. 'The Manhattan,' New York, Nov. 24, 32." The recipient is mentioned by name in Volume II, pages 200-201.
Pershing returned from World War I as America's most famous general. "In that adventure there were many lessons useful to the American people, should they ever again be called to arms, and I felt it a duty to record them as I saw them" (Introduction). Includes conversations and documents which dictated the course of World War I in the European theater. Pershing inscribed this copy to Colonel John O'Neill, who is mentioned at some length in Volume II, pp. 200-201. In this passage, Pershing describes his first encounter with Major John O'Neill, in his capacity as chief stevedore. Pershing demands to know how 42,000 troops and their equipment had been disembarked efficiently at the Port of Brest. After his initial embarrassment, O'Neill explained his methods to Pershing. The passage ends with Pershing writing, "'Well,' I said, 'O'Neill, you're just the man that I have been looking for, and I am going to send you to every port we use to show them your secret'" (I, 201). A related paragraph on page 209 of Volume I laments "the stevedore situation" at French ports earlier in the war. With 32 pages of illustrations from photographs, and ten strategic maps. Preceded by a signed/limited edition the same year. Without original slipcase. An early owner transcribed the passages relevant to Col. O'Neill by hand on two leaves, and laid them in. Owner's card laid in as well.
Interiors clean, cloth near-fine with a bit of toning to spines and faint spotting to boards. Dust jackets with mild toning to spines and tiny chip to head of Volume I spine. A near-fine and quite desirable presentation-association copy.