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LeMay : the life and wars of General Curtis…

LeMay : the life and wars of General Curtis LeMay (edition 2009)

by Warren Kozak

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914218,041 (3.79)3
Kozak’s biography of U.S. Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay (1906#150;1990) won’t convert those utterly convinced that he was a bomb-happy maniac. The more open-minded, however, will find in it a broader perspective on this controversial officer than we have had elsewhere. His outstanding competence as leader and organizer of strategic airpower in World War II and during the cold war is convincingly presented; so are his limitations in the Pentagon and his poor judgment in being George Wallace’s running mate in 1968. Kozak suggests that LeMay was utterly dedicated to the mission of destroying his country’s enemies and to the men under his command charged with carrying out that mission. This led to what can only be called a certain lack of the social graces and a good many of what might charitably be called misinterpretations of where LeMay’s patriotism led him. A book that definitely belongs in aviation and modern military history collections.… (more)
Title:LeMay : the life and wars of General Curtis LeMay
Authors:Warren Kozak
Info:Washington, D.C. : Regnery Pub. Inc., [2009]
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:biography, war, USA, history, aerodynamics, read2020, library, audio

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LeMay The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay by Warren Kozak



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During World War II and after, until 1953, we lived in Bellevue, Nebraska which is near Fort Crook. During the war Fort Crook was the home of the Glenn L. Martin bomber company where some of the B-29s flown by General Lemay's forces in the Pacific were built. My father worked as a draftsman on the project. After the war the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) was located at Fort Crook. There were at least two gates into the facility, one at Fort Crook and one at Bellevue. General Lemay was placed in charge of SAC. My father became County Superintendent of Sarpy County, Nebraska and my mother taught one of two fourth grade classes in Bellevue. General Lemay had one daughter who was my age. She was in my mother's class and I was in the other class. As the SAC staff grew my father, as county superintendent, became involved in planning for the influx of children who would attend county schools. He worked closely with General Lemay's staff. Too many years have passed for me to recall whether he dealt directly with General Lemay. I think I remember my mother telling me that one or both of the the Lemays attended Parent-Teacher Night at the school.

Before reading the book I didn't know that General Lemay was the youngest Army general during World War II. I didn't know about the role he played in the war in Europe or what assignments he had after he left SAC. The final chapter deals with one of the biggest mistakes he made in his life, when he agreed to be the vice presidential running mate of third party candidate George C. Wallace of Alabama.

If you are interested in the role of the Air Force in winning World War II and in the man who was chosen to lead the effort in both the European and Pacific theaters I think you will enjoy reading this book. ( )
  MrDickie | Nov 22, 2017 |
Always disliked the man, but I respect him a lot more after reading this. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
An extremely readable biography that borders on hagiographic at points. Kozak admits to being motivated to begin his research based upon the idea that, whatever his politics, Lemay was the kind of commander under whom a father would want his son serving. I'm not familiar with the other biographies of Lemay, but this provided a quick overview of the man's career and could serve as a solid starting point. ( )
  JLHeim | Mar 16, 2013 |
OK he was an engineer, OK he was brave, but . . . Kozak brushes over analyses of aerial terror bombing (as it was called when I was growing up and the Nazis started it) and its aftermath on civilians, but includes lots of technique--low level B-29 tactics explained well. And a bit of family life too. ( )
  kerns222 | Jun 26, 2011 |
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