Synopses & Reviews
Hero or Villain?
THE FIREBOMBING OF TOKYO. Strategic Air Command. John F. Kennedy. Dr. Strangelove. George Wallace. All of these have one man in common—General Curtis LeMay, who remains as unknowable and controversial as he was in life.
Until now. Warren Kozak traces the trajectory of Americas most infamous general, from his troubled background and heroic service in Europe to his firebombing of Tokyo, guardianship of the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the Cold War, frustrated career in government, and short-lived political run. Curtis LeMays life spanned an epoch in American military history, from the small U.S. Army Air Corps of the interwar years to the nuclear age.
LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay tells the whole story of the innovative pilot and navigator; the courageous general who led his bomber formations from the front, flying the lead bomber; the brilliant strategist; the unflagging patriot; and the founder of modern strategic bombing, who was famous and notorious in turns.
In LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay, youll learn:
- How LeMay developed the strategy and techniques that transformed Allied bombing in World War II, radically improving results and saving lives
- Why he developed the plan of fire-bombing Tokyo
- Why he expected a war with Russia
- How he tried to prevent the Bay of Pigs disaster
- Who really came up with the idea of bombing the North Vietnamese back into the Stone Age”
- Why he agreed to be George Wallaces running mate in the election of 1968—despite loathing Wallace and most of his policies
LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay gives an unprecedented glimpse into the might and mind of one of the founding fathers of air power, whose influence, and controversy, continues to this day.
Praise for LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay
Fearless, innovative, shrewd, abrasive, LeMay is the father of modern air power and the man Robert McNamara has called, the finest combat commander the US has ever produced. His flaws are famous, but this fine, candid book also shows how much we owe him.”
R. JAMES WOOLSEY, former Director of Central Intelligence
Warren Kozak has captured brilliantly the essence of one of Americas greatest generals and combat commanders. I knew General LeMay when I was a captain and he was chief of staff. LeMay was the United States Air Forces greatest strategist and tactician. He led the way in defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan with airpower, and was instrumental in deterring the Soviet Union during his leadership of the Strategic Air Command. He was not widely liked, but he was greatly respected by those who served under him.”
LIEUTENANT GENERAL THOMAS G. MCINERNEY, United States Air Force, retired, former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
A splendid analysis of and tribute to one of Americas great, if under-appreciated, war fighters. LeMay had a genius for organizing forces and campaignsreflected in the World War II air campaigns against both Germany and Japan, the Berlin airlift, and the creation of the Strategic Air Command from the shambles of post World War II demobilization. While he may have had almost no social gracesas an Air Force Chief observedhe was a disciplinarian who served the nation effectively in war and peace. This is an excellent biography.”
JAMES SCHLESINGER, former Secretary of Defense
About the Author
is an author and journalist who has written for televisions most respected news anchors. Winner of the prestigious Benton Fellowship at the University of Chicago in 1993, he was an on-air reporter for NPR, and his work has appeared on PBS and in the Wall Street Journal
, the Washington Post
, and the New York Sun
as well as other newspapers and magazines. Warren Kozak was born and raised in Wisconsin and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. Visit his website at WarrenKozak.com.