Synopses & Reviews
The United States Air Force fought as a truly independent service for the first time during the Korean War. Ruling the skies in many celebrated aerial battles, even against the advanced Soviet MiG-15, American fighter pilots reigned supreme. Yet they also destroyed virtually every major town and city in North Korea, demolished its entire crop irrigation system and killed close to one million civilians.
The self-confidence and willingness to take risks which defined the lives of these men became a trademark of the fighter pilot culture, what author John Darrell Sherwood here refers to as the flight suit attitude. In Officers in Flight Suits, John Darrell Sherwood takes a closer look at the flight suit officer's life by drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, novels, unit records, and personal papers as well as interviews with over fifty veterans who served in the Air Force in Korea. Tracing their lives from their training to the flight suit culture they developed, the author demonstrates how their unique lifestyle affected their performance in battle and their attitudes toward others, particularly women, in their off-duty activities.
"An extraordinary synthesis of social and military history which throws new light on the story of the air combat in Korea." - Ronald H. Spector, author of After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam
"Sherwood provides a definitve account of Air Force pilots, their training, operations and battles, in the Korean War." -Virginia Pilot,
"Sherwood thoroughly documents the superb performance of air force fighter pilots during the Korean War. They met the best pilots China and the Soviet Union had to offer—and won. In doing so, the author has competently mined the extensive documentary resources of the Air Force History and Museums Program and made constructive use of memoirs and interviews."
"Sherwood paints a vivid and realistic portrait of the culture of Korean War pilots, examining the motivations, their methods, and the effect that being a fighter pilot had on their personal lives."
"An extraordinary synthesis of social and military history which throws new light on the story of the air combat in Korea."
"Sherwood provides a definitve account of Air Force pilots, their training, operations and battles, in the Korean War."
" quite brilliantly reveals not only Roosevelt's beliefs and views, but shows the different ways European immigrant writers rejected his enthusiastic insistence that they conform to his American narrative."-Journal of American Ethnic History,
"Rough Writing is much more than a fascinating account of the little-known relationship between an American president and the immigrant authors whose work he promoted in the service of a new national narrative. Meticulously researched and lucidly written, Rough Writing enables us to see a vital period in American literature through new eyes."-Laura Browder,author of Slippery Characters: Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities
"Cogently written and elegantly conceived." -The Journal of American History,
As the United States struggled to absorb a massive influx of ethnically diverse immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century, the question of who and what an American is took on urgent intensity. It seemed more critical than ever to establish a definition by which Americanness could be established, transmitted, maintained, and judged. Americans of all stripes sought to articulate and enforce their visions of the nation's past, present, and future; central to these attempts was President Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt fully recognized the narrative component of American identity, and he called upon authors of diverse European backgrounds including Israel Zangwill, Jacob Riis, Elizabeth Stern, and Finley Peter Dunne to promote the nation in popular written form. With the swell and shift in immigration, he realized that a more encompassing national literature was needed to "express and guide the soul of the nation." Rough Writing examines the surprising place and implications of the immigrant and of ethnic writing in Roosevelt's America and American literature.
About the Author
John Darrell Sherwood is an official historian with the U.S. Naval Historical Center. He is the author of Officers in Flight Suits: The Story of American Air Force Fighter Pilots in Korea and Afterburner: Naval Aviators and the Vietnam War, both published by NYU Press. He is also the author of Fast Movers: Aviators and the Vietnam War Experience.