Synopses & Reviews
The masterfully told story of the unlikely men who came together to make the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes of American history.
On the sixtieth anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, Andrei Cherny tells a remarkable story with profound implications for the world today. In the tradition of the best narrative storytellers, he brings together newly unclassified documents, unpublished letters and diaries, and fresh primary interviews to tell the story of the ill-assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who not only saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat but changed how the world viewed the United States, and set in motion the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and to Americaas victory in the Cold War.
On June 24, 1948, intent on furthering its domination of Europe, the Soviet Union cut off all access to West Berlin, prepared to starve the city into submission unless the Americans abandoned it. Soviet forces hugely outnumbered the Alliesa, and most of Americaas top officials considered the situation hopeless. But not all of them.
Harry Truman, an accidental president, derided by his own party; Lucius Clay, a frustrated general, denied a combat command and relegated to the home front; Bill Tunner, a logistics expert downsized to a desk job in a corner of the Pentagon; James Forrestal, a secretary of defense beginning to mentally unravel; Hal Halvorsen, a lovesick pilot who had served far from the conflict, flying transport missions in the backwater of a global waratogether these unlikely men improvised and stumbled their way into a uniquely American combination of military andmoral force unprecedented in its time.
This is the forgotten foundation tale of America in the modern world, the story of when Americans learned, for the first time, how to act at the summit of world poweraa masterful and exciting work of historical narrative, and one with strong resonance for our time.
"A successful work of popular history...an enjoyable, timely narrative."
-Dallas Morning News
"Andrei Cherny tells this story vividly, placing it on the broader canvas of the incipient Cold War."
-Michael Barone, U.S. News and World Report
"A gripping, suspenseful narrative history... Reminds me of Stephen Ambrose at his best."
"A fine eye for character and detail."
"An exciting, inspiring, and wonderfully written book."
-Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Cherny presents a masterfully told story of the unlikely men who came together to make the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes of American history.
The Candy Bombers
is the true tale of the ill- assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat. By feeding and supplying West Berlin by air for nearly a year, these brave men won the hearts of America's defeated enemies, and inspired people around the world to believe in America's fundamental goodness. Their valor and kind acts helped the country avoid World War III, and won the greatest battle of the Cold War-without firing a shot.