This short Kindle book, divided into two parts, provides just enough information to help the reader understand where Galileo and Newton stand in the evolution of Western scientific thought and practice.
As a lifelong fan of historic aircraft, reading details of how and where the B-17s, the B-24s, and P-51s were developed and manufactured provides a useful insight into what “mobilization of the homefront” meant.
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.
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.
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!
As I’ve always enjoyed detailed stories about challenging engineering and construction projects (atomic bomb, hydroge bomb, skyscrapers, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc.) this book fit my interests like a glove. I just wish we could send McCullough back in time to tell us how the Pyramids were really built!
The lessons of history (telephone, telegraph, FM radio, networks, cable TV, etc.) and how companies with the complicity of government try to shut off competition are incredibly important given current battles to save net neutrality.
I can’t help but wonder when reading about these exciting times what it might have been like had the U.S. and Soviet Union cooperated in space exploration earlier on. Would the combined resources have resulted in greater joint accomplishments like a moon base or a landing on Mars? Or was the competition and secrecy effective in pushing both sides ahead?