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LeMay: A Biography

Great Generals

Barrett Tillman; Foreword by General Wesley K. Clark

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

LeMay was a terrifying, complex, and brilliant general. In World War II, he ordered the firebombing of Tokyo and was in charge when Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths--a fact he liked to celebrate by smoking Cuban cigars. But LeMay was also the man who single-handedly transformed the American air force from a ramshackle team of poorly trained and badly equipped pilots into one of the fiercest and most efficient weapons of the war. Over the last decades, most U.S. military missions were carried out entirely through the employment of the Air Force; this is LeMay's legacy. Packed with breathtaking battles in the air and inspiring leadership tactics on the ground, LeMay will keep readers on their edge of their seats.

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Praise for LeMay: A Biography

"Mr. Tillman finds much to admire in LeMay, a general who led his own bomber missions and was more familiar with flying equipment than his own men."--Carl Rollyson, The New York Sun
 
"[Tillman] retrieves some of the enduring lessons of leadership that can be learned from one of America's greatest airmen...[and] skillfully blends elements from LeMay's personal and professional lives with the historical, providing a remarkably nuanced appreciation for this greatest of bomber generals." - Naval War College Review
 
"A good start for anyone unfamiliar with this most influential airman of World War II."--Clayton Chun, WWII
 
"He was the nation's top bomber hero. Yet Curtis E. LeMay is often portrayed as one-dimensional--a gruff, cigar-chomping brute. The man who defined combat leadership in the European war, wielded the B-29 Superfortress against Japan, and shaped the postwar Strategic Air Command, was far more complex than his detractors claim. Barrett Tillman, one of America's top history writers, gives us an authentic feel for LeMay and for the way LeMay left his mark on the twentieth century."-- Robert F. Dorr, author of Air Combat and columnist for the Air Force Times
 
"A brilliant book! Barrett Tillman describes the true magnitude of LeMay's achievements, while rendering the first posthumous biography of a complex, controversial figure. Objective and beautifully written, this portrait of history's greatest air commander is an absolute must for every aviation or military historian and for anyone interested in leadership."--Walter J. Boyne, author of Roaring Thunder and former Director, National Air & Space Museum
 
"Thorough, balanced, and insightful, Barrett Tillman's masterful biography of Curtis LeMay is a long-overdue and thought-provoking study, one certain to become a standard reference on the life and work of America's most famous and controversial combat bomber commander."--Dr. Richard P. Hallion, Aviation Historian, author of Taking Flight:  Inventing the Aerial Age from Antiquity Through the First World War
 

“Tillman’s dazzling achievement here is to penetrate not just the life, but the inner persona of LeMay, the greatest air commander of World War II and the Cold War. In pages that echo with perfect pitch LeMay’s own direct and confident voice, emerges the story of the man who was far more than the Neanderthal who learned to fly. Love him or hate him, LeMay remains a true leader—a man who led from the front and who listened far more than he spoke.”—Richard B. Frank, author of MacArthur, Downfall, and Guadalcanal

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Barrett Tillman; Foreword by General Wesley K. Clark

  • Barrett Tillman is the author of forty books, including the bestseller Warriors. He has received numerous awards, including the American Aviation Historical Society's Outstanding Contributor Award, the Air Force Historical Foundation Writing Award, and the Admiral Arthur Radford Award for Naval Aviation History & Literature.
  • Barrett Tillman
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    LeMay: A Biography

    Great Generals

    Barrett Tillman; Foreword by General Wesley K. Clark

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