Missouri’s history is replete with strong and adventurous leaders, from Lewis and Clark to Harry S. Truman. It is no surprise, then, that the Show-Me State has produced a great number of military men and women, including thirty who attained the rank of general. In this clearly written and richly illustrated book, James F. Muench has profiled five of the best-known figures: Alexander William Doniphan, Sterling Price, Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, and Omar Bradley. These men represent a number of historical eras–from the Mexican-American War through World War II–and a variety of social and cultural backgrounds.
Doniphan, who served in the Mexican-American War, and Price, who served in the Civil War on the Confederate side, were citizen soldiers who rose through the ranks of their local militias. Grant, who served in the Civil War on the Union side; Pershing, who served in World War I; and Bradley, who served in World War II, were professional soldiers who represented the trend in the modern army as general as manager and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. While noting the diversity among the generals, Muench also is careful to emphasize the connections and commonalities among them.
Five Stars: Missouri’s Most Famous Generals dedicates one chapter to each general. With lively, clear language, Muench gives readers an effective and entertaining primer on the lives and times of Missouri’s celebrated generals and their roles in American history, focusing in particular on their battlefield exploits. This book is sure to appeal to anyone interested in Missouri history, as well as those interested in military leadership.