The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Book - 2002
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John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story.

Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed. Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes -- a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune but for his country. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt.

Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come . . .
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, c2002.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316881463
Characteristics: x, 485 p., [8] p. of plates ; 25 cm.


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Dec 27, 2018

Ribbonfarm reading list

Jun 05, 2018

There was a reason why abrasive profane highbrow(?) maverick was stuck as Colonel because he pissed off generals, institutions & corporations on their shiny new toys as not combat capable.
However, he forced Air Force into reforms & politicians to look harder on better fighter planes.
Boy do I sympathize on his neglected family while subject preached then radical ideas.

May 26, 2018

A great biography of a man who drove real transformation in how the U.S. military fights - the author gets it right in producing a read that is admiring and critical in the correct proportion. John Boyd's life is a remarkable and quintessentially American. Read and enjoy this fine work.

Oct 31, 2016

I read this book when it first published. Recently I purchased a copy as I want to read it again. It is truly an amazing story.

M1ssY1 Dec 12, 2012

Insightful. Alive. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched.


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Sep 08, 2010

jtmayled thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Sep 08, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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Sep 08, 2010

"Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road…And you're going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go…If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments…Or you can go that way and you can do something - something for your country and for the Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference…To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"


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