Boyd by Robert Coram
The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

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Synopsis

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. ..
 

About Robert Coram

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Robert Coram is the author of four nonfiction books and seven novels. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker and other national magazines, and he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his work as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
 
Published November 21, 2002 by Little, Brown and Company. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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Real information (potential and kinetic energy from engine thrust, aircraft lift and drag, g-forces endurable, etc.) replaced conventional reliance on the often-inflated aircraft speed and range claims of bureaucrats who believed that the more complex a weapon, the more gizmos it carried, and the...

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A Boyd advocate (he "contributed as much to fighter aviation as any man in the history of the Air Force," Coram notes), Coram does not shy away from Boyd's often self-defeating abrasiveness and the neglect and mistreatment of his long-suffering wife and children, and keeps the story of a unique l...

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This book portrays the life and work of John Boyd who is known as the greatest American fighter pilot.

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