Did Kelly Johnson and the people at Lockheed, the CIA, and the U.S. Air Force realize they were developing a “platform” whose utility would extend over decades? Probably not. Aeronautical history of the time is littered with failed jets and engines designs. Survivors are few and the U-2 stands out.
I research, consult, and write about big data, project management, new media, standards, mobile technology, and collaboration. Occasionally I review books and movies. I’m also a volunteer with the Alexandria Film Festival.
- Scroll down for book review summary links sorted by date.
- A complete index of my book reviews is here.
A lot of this book makes for unpleasant reading but it is an important record of the times, told by the author from an older and wiser perspective. He is lucky to have survived.
Reading the extended edition of Stephen King’s massive novel THE STAND was a reminder of why I never took up reading his books when I was younger: his writing style was flat and uninspiring. Now that I’m older I’ve returned to reading his books and recognize his mastery of two very important fiction elements:
Translated by Nicholas Voge from the original Japanese, this memoir tells the story of one Japanese naval pilot from the time he earns his wings to his combat experience in China, Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Guadalcanal.
This book is pretty dry reading. There’s very little in the way of human interest or personal relationships on display here. That’s okay since, if you read between the lines, you can pretty much imagine the real world of terror and sweat Bridgeman, Crossfield, and the others had to deal with on a regular basis in order to “bring home the data” on the primitive data recorders of the day.
Initially developed as a high-speed escort fighter for long-range SAC bombers, the 1,000 mph+ Voodoo was eventually adapted as a high altitude interceptor, as nuclear weapons delivery platform, and as a photographic reconnaissance platform.
James Holland's DAM BUSTERS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE INVENTORS AND AIRMEN WHO LED THE DEVASTATING RAID TO SMASH THE GERMAN DAMS IN 1943
Yes, the raid contributed significantly to the Allies war effort. Hopefully, too, people today who only connect with war via video games will occasionally pick up and read a book like this.
I have to believe that the resulting “blended” view of where we came from will be a natural outgrowth of the increasing diversity of U.S. society. For some that will only happen when the current generation of white traditionalists dies off and is replaced. I hope we don’t have to wait that long. Books like this certainly help!