Once Buckley and Fisher were able to find the list of men who served, a list the U.S. Army itself thought lost, their tenacity in researching the stories of each one of these men is quite a gift to the readers and future historians. These patriots deserve to be remembered, individually and as a whole, and many of these stories astounded me, impressed me, and of course, shocked and saddened me. Most served French regiments, experiencing a relative lack of racism for the first time in their lives. What happened to each of them after they returned home was most compelling of all. Bravo to the authors; thank you for allowing me to read the book before publication. It was a truly a pleasure.
This is an incredible in-depth and important history of a segment of the African American impact on World War I. The hurdles faced in the early 1900's just to get through college and medical school as an African American male is astounding. These biographies go further than that and chronicle the individual journeys many of these men took to become leaders in their communities.
The authors, W. Douglas Fisher and Joann Buckley, personally interviewed the families and artfully wrote biographies that tell the unique stories of 104 amazing souls. Without this work most of these stories would have just stayed within their own families. Now they are out there for this generation to learn from. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in African-American history during the early to mid 1900's.
I just received this book today. I am amazed at the level of research that was done in such a selfless, loving manner. Douglas Fisher and Joann Buckley have created a masterpiece and have documented the lives of these men that may have forever been lost in history.
My grandfather, Dr. J. N. Rucker is featured in this book and is mentioned in the very first paragraph of the preface. Author Doug Fisher's grandfather (Captain John North Douglas) was the commanding officer of the division where my grandfather served and cared for over 500 troops. Captain Douglas wrote about my grandfather in his diary which ultimately led to the author's journey to learn about other African American doctors of WW1.
I am so grateful to have learned things about my grandfather's legacy that I never knew, as well as about the other doctors featured in this incredible book. Thank you to Douglas Fisher and Joann Buckley!
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the author at an exhibit on Black Pioneers in Uniform in Durham, NC. It is amazing how much history is never shared in school. The book provided both a historical and personal account on the lives of these American heroes.
'Two independent scholars take a look at the lives and experiences of the small number of African American physicians who received commissions as medical officers during the Great War, several of whom were wounded at the front and one of whom died of wounds. A short introduction reviews the history of military service by African Americans, the political struggle to insure black men would serve as officers in this new war, including medical officers, and the nature of the training these men received upon entering the Army. Then each of the 104 men in question is given a standard profile. This covers their background and medical education, their military service, and their subsequent careers. The men, who came from all across the country, had varying war experiences, encountered different degrees of racism in both society and the service, and mostly went on to long and successful careers in medicine. This is an excellent work for anyone interested in the black military experience, and also for anyone seeking to investigate the state of military medicine in the period and the work of front line surgeons.'
An outstanding contribution to the bibliography of the United States participation in the First World War. This excellent piece of research brings to the fore the contribution of the 104 African-American doctors who volunteered to serve with the American Expeditionary Force in WW1. It begins with a short introduction about their training and the formations in which they served but the bulk of the book is devoted to the biographies. Each story covers each man's early life, education and medical training, followed by their wartime experience and, finally, their contribution to their communities and the wider medical profession after the war. It is not surprising that many of these men went on to become leaders in the African-American community. The depth of research is extraordinary and the authors have really done these men proud. This book will appeal to a wide readership. It is highly recommended.
W. Douglas Fisher and Joann H. Buckley have rescued 104 outstanding Americans from obscurity in this impeccably researched and extraordinarily well-written account of their participation in World War I. But there is also an impressive amount of fascinating information about their lives after they were mustered out of the military. Not only were they physicians, but were avid community and civil rights activists and many laid the groundwork for the events of the "60s". One of them would become the first African American chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP. This is a "must read" for lovers of American history and those responsible for the education of our young people at all levels, from elementary to university.