Very readable history
Paperback edition published in October 2011 by Regnery History
392 pages of text. 434 pages total.
Kozak was inspired to write this book by a quote from a college lecturer: "You might not agree with his politics, but if you have a son serving in combat, you want him serving under someone like LeMay." (p. 389) Personally, LeMay has always been a caricature of a general in the periphery of the story the World War II histories and pieces of historical fiction I have read. Kozak does a masterful job of dragging LeMay into the spotlight and showing us the man, not just a caricature or a non-entity on the sidelines.
|General Curtis LeMay (1906-1990)|
As a devotee of the Bomber, LeMay advocated mass bombings under the theory that says: "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting." Hard to argue with that blunt logic. And, blunt is exactly the word to describe LeMay - almost completely lacking in social graces, but willing to be the lead pilot in a bombing raid in order to convince his men that his plan would work (only after he had done the math, however).
Kozak is clearly a fan of LeMay (Now, I am a fan of his simple military philosophies) but that does not stop him from being critical, especially of his decision to run for president with George Wallace in 1968 as a Dixiecrat. He explores it all and leaves the reader impressed. LeMay, coming from nothing to command a vast armada of bombers. A man without nuance or subtlety who mastered America's most complex weapons systems and helped to create the Air Force and the Strategic Air Command.
I give this enjoyable, very readable biography 5 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: LeMay.
Reviewed on January 16, 2012.