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Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War [Kindle Edition]

Robert Coram
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story. Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed. Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes -- a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune but for his country. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt. Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come. ..


Product Description

About the Author

Corram has written 3 books of non-fiction as well as 7 novels. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker & other major mags & he has been nominated twice for a Pulitzer He is a qualified commercial pilot and is one of the few civilians to have flown both the F-100 and the F-15.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 682 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (21 Nov. 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FORA54A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of an airman's life 28 July 2006
Format:Paperback
Before I picked up this book on a whim, I had never heard of John Boyd, or the aircraft mafia, or indeed even the reformers. Come to think of it, this is the first military-themed book I've read since I was about twelve.

What I found in this book was a compelling and meticulously researched tale about a soldier's soldier. John Boyd lived by the principle that a man in the forces could either get ahead and be promoted, or he could do something that made a difference. John and those he rallied to his causes were men who did things, often to the detriment of their careers.

This is a hard book to put down - it really is a page turner, and you can sense the frustration of setbacks in Boyd's work, and the thrill of his victories. In the later sections where Boyd is working behind the scenes to help a friend take the army to task over some clearly corrupt work, you get a real sense of the magnitude of what Boyd and those around him were trying to fight.

Even more interesting is how Boyd's later work has tied in so well with modern warfare, generating the concept of fourth-generation warfare, and taking the Marines from a face to face punchout type of outfit to a quick moving guerilla force that disorient their opponents with speed and seemingly random movements.

I heartily recommend this book. People in the military should be reading it, people who like modern aircraft will enjoy it. To be honest, anyone who likes a good story should find this book entertaining.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bona Fide Hero 23 Mar. 2006
By Phil
Format:Paperback
This book is wonderful. It is a portrait of an fascinating and inspiring character: brilliant, opinionated, dogged, vulgar, charismatic. Robert Coram chronicles Boyd's fight against the dishonourable careerism that haunts the corridors of the Pentagon, where what advances the individual wins out over what advances the security of the United States.
Boyd's innovations in fighter tactics and military strategy (you're going to hear more of the OODA or Boyd Loop as the years go by), made in the teeth of entrenched establishment opposition, make this an important, entertaining and inspiring book.
Col John R Boyd is something the US needs right now: a bona fide hero.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most original military thinker since Sun Tzu. 31 July 2004
Format:Hardcover
John Boyd was a US Airforce pilot who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He developed a methodology called E-M Theory in the 1950s. E-M Theory was the first mathematical way of describing an aircraft's dogfighting characteristics and led to a systematic method of comparing aircraft performance and, more importantly, working out the best way to fight the strengths of one aircraft against the weaknesses of an adversary. Simply revolutionary at the time. He is known as the father of the F-15 and was a member of the so called "Fighter Maffia" who foisted the F-16 on an downright hostile USAF in the seventies. Some have said John Boyd was the most original military thinker since Sun Tzu.
Enjoyed reading the book, although it was a very sycophantic in places. Having said that it tells the story of a man who persisted in what be believed in and revolutionised air to air combat.
Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most original military thinker since Sun Tzu. 31 July 2004
Format:Paperback
John Boyd was a US Airforce pilot who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He developed a methodology called E-M Theory in the 1950s. E-M Theory was the first mathematical way of describing an aircraft's dogfighting characteristics and led to a systematic method of comparing aircraft performance and, more importantly, working out the best way to fight the strengths of one aircraft against the weaknesses of an adversary. Simply revolutionary at the time. He is known as the father of the F-15 and was a member of the so called "Fighter Maffia" who foisted the F-16 on an downright hostile USAF in the seventies. Some have said John Boyd was the most original military thinker since Sun Tzu.
Enjoyed reading the book, although it was a very sycophantic in places. Having said that it tells the story of a man who persisted in what be believed in and revolutionised air to air combat.
Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a brilliant book 19 April 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the best books i have read. The story is right out of a movie but not one of the usual sugar covered movies out of Hollywood, rather a real quality movie.

It has it all and then some. I had 300 pages pass before my eyes in 3 days - it was that engulfing.

Thank you to the author and thank you to the main caracter.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most original military thinker since Sun Tzu 31 July 2004
Format:Hardcover
John Boyd was a US Airforce pilot who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He developed a methodology called E-M Theory in the 1950s. E-M Theory was the first mathematical way of describing an aircraft's dogfighting characteristics and led to a systematic method of comparing aircraft performance and, more importantly, working out the best way to fight the strengths of one aircraft against the weaknesses of an adversary. Simply revolutionary at the time. He is known as the father of the F-15 and was a member of the so called "Fighter Maffia" who foisted the F-16 on an downright hostile USAF in the seventies. Some have said John Boyd was the most original military thinker since Sun Tzu.
Enjoyed reading the book, although it was a very sycophantic in places. Having said that it tells the story of a man who persisted in what be believed in and revolutionised air to air combat.
Recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I very intresting book indeed. USAF seems as bead in 2017
Published 23 days ago by M Bowery
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I thought the book told the story well. I liked the way it elaborated on the political battle in the Pentagon. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rupert jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Instead of the dull and boring lectures at RAF Cranwell
I wish I had read this book when I first joined the RAF as a pilot 12 years ago. Instead of the dull and boring lectures at RAF Cranwell, by people who clearly didn't understand... Read more
Published 3 months ago by si1981
5.0 out of 5 stars left me speechless
That one man is so critical to the strengths of the US armed forces is shocking. That the same man is responsible for whatever reformation has been underway in the US military... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Taimur
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting book. Will read it more than once as the information is densely packed in places.
Published 6 months ago by robhall77
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Boyd, Brilliant Book
Brilliant -- and essential reading for aviators.
Published 8 months ago by Scribbler
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insight into US military shenanigans
Great read about a true American patriot and one of their best ever fighter pilots. A thorn in the side of the Pentagon suits.
Published 9 months ago by Chris Bonass
5.0 out of 5 stars A real incite into American military politics
At first I felt this was another "America is best" book but honesty came through and a reality check set into the book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Richard
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Didn't know of the man before reading this book. Plainly an obsessional man but you need a few of them to change stuff.
Published 15 months ago by Andrewcas
3.0 out of 5 stars Hero (worship)
In short, Boyd the warrior spends his time hosing superiors, flippin' the bird at 4 star generals, changing the design process for aircraft, rewriting the art of war and turning... Read more
Published on 18 Nov. 2011 by Dril
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