A larger-than-life fighter pilot and genius of aviation, engineering and military strategy, Boyd dared to challenge the intractable military bureaucracy and its outmoded practices. The single-minded determination developed in his youth carried him on to renown for his skill as a fighter pilot, for his passion as an instructor, his legendary appetite and lack of respect for his superiors. But this was just the start as he went on to transform the way military planes were designed, fighting the air force's entrenched ideas every step of the way. Boyd's breakthrough designs were crucial to the creation of the F-15 and 16, and he dedicated years to an innovative theory of conflict that eventually made him the most influential military theoretician since Sun Tzu. A magnet for bright young men dissatisfied with the impractically old-fashioned methods of the military, his circle of "acolytes" extended his influence through their headline-grabbing Reform Movement. By the time of Boyd's death his name had reached the furthest corners of the military establishment. Coram paints a colourful portrait of this extremely unconventional man who locked horns with the most conventional of bureaucracies - and won.