Book Review – General Fox Conner

For a long time, I have heard about General Fox Conner.  He was a native Mississippian who served as General Black Jack Pershing’s Chief of Operations in World War I.  He is said to have had a great impact on the careers of General George Marshall, General George Patton and General Eisenhower.  Not bad for a boy from Calhoun County, Mississippi. I recommend this book.

General Fox Conner: Pershing’s Chief of Operations and Eisenhower’s Mentor.

I also recommend you buy it at Square Books in Oxford.

This is the Description of the book by Square Books.

Fox Conner presents the portrait of the quintessential man behind the scenes in U.S. military history. John J. Pershing considered Fox Conner to have been -a brilliant solider- and -one of the finest characters our Army has ever produced.- During World War I, General Conner served as chief of operations for the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. Pershing told Conner: -I could have spared any other man in the A.E.F. better than you.-

Dwight D. Eisenhower viewed Fox Conner, as -the outstanding soldier of my time.- In the early 1920s, Conner transformed his protege Eisenhower from a struggling young officer on the verge of a court martial into one of the American army’s rising stars. Eisenhower acknowledged Fox Conner as -the one more or less invisible figure to whom I owe an incalculable debt.- This book presents the first complete biography of this significant, but now forgotten, figure in American military history.

In addition to providing a unique insider’s view into the operations of the American high command during World War I, Fox Conner also tells the story of an interesting life. Conner felt a calling to military service, although his father had been blinded during the Civil War. From humble beginnings in rural Mississippi, Conner became one of the army’s intellectuals. During the 1920s, when most of the nation slumbered in isolationism, Conner predicted a second world war. As the nation began to awaken to new international dangers in the 1930s, President Roosevelt offered Fox Conner the position of army chief of staff, which he declined. Poor health prevented his participation in World War II, while others whom he influenced, including Eisenhower, Patton, and Marshall, went on to fame.

ESPN Article on Concussion Lawsuit

I’ve heard from several lawyers on this article.  This is a tough one, because it criticizes lawyers.  Maybe rightfully so.

I’ve also heard from several families that are involved and are disgusted with what they have found in the judicial system.

The following is part of the story that a very well respected attorney pointed out to me.

The way the NFL concussion litigation settled and the terms of the settlement were weird and unusual. In many ways–not just that it left open the specter of the attorney’s fees feeding frenzy. If players’ families are unhappy now, wait until the NFL denies their claim for benefits under the agreement. 

 The presiding judge loved the settlement. She would not hear any criticisms of it. A motion was filed right after they announced the settlement basically saying that the attorney’s fees issue needed to be more clearly defined. No one responded to the motion and the judge never ruled on it. By that point, it was clear that approval of the settlement would be steamrolled.

The settlement was great for the NFL and the cadre of plaintiff lawyers who negotiated it. As the ESPN article alluded to, those plaintiff lawyers did not originate the litigation. They were just in the aristocracy of ‘big-time’ plaintiff lawyers and were hand-picked by the judge to broker a deal. Those guys say it’s great for the players. But I predict that within 6-12 months, all hell is going to break lose because the NFL disputes many claims for monetary payments. The agreement leaves a huge amount of room to fight over who qualifies. And the hoops they have to jump through to make a claim are very complex. I thought settlements were supposed to end litigation—this one isn’t going to be like that.