LeMay

  • by Warren Kozak
  • Narrated by Grainger Hines
  • 13 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The firebombing of Tokyo. Strategic Air Command. John F. Kennedy. Dr. Strangelove. George Wallace. All of these have one man in common - General Curtis LeMay, who remains as enigmatic and controversial as he was in life.
Until now. Warren Kozak traces the trajectory of America's most infamous general, from his troubled background and heroic service in Europe to his firebombing of Tokyo, guardianship of the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the Cold War, frustrated career in government, and short-lived political run. Curtis LeMay's life spanned an epoch in American military history, from the small U.S. Army Air Corps of the interwar years to the nuclear age.
LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay, tells the whole story of the innovative pilot and navigator; the courageous general who led his bomber formations from the front, flying the lead bomber; the brilliant strategist; the unflagging patriot; and the founder of modern strategic bombing, who was both famous and notorious. The book is an unprecedented glimpse into the might and mind of one of the founding fathers of air power, whose influence, and controversy, continues to this day.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Adequate biography, poorly narrated

This is a fairly unimaginative but adequate biography of a fascinating man. It draws heavily upon secondary sources, especially LeMay's own autobiography, so centres very much on his wartime experiences rather than his SAC time and after his retirement. It is also pretty uncritical, and does a weak job in debating the vastly controversial issues surrounding this complex man. Nonetheless, it does describe, albeit from LeMay's perspective, his role in the strategic bombing of both Germany and Japan, and to a lesser degree, his role in the development of Strategic Air Command. His relationship with MacNamara and two Presidents in the '60s is also touched upon, although this fascinating and important topic is not well covered, as it is not well covered in LeMay's own book.

It is fine as far as it goes, but the production is poor. There are many instances where "fluffs" are not edited, but the most salient issue is the narration, which is memorably dreadful. The narrator manages to mangle almost every 4 syllable word in the book (really; after a while I started to watch out for them). He invents new words all of his own as he stumbles past the three syllable mark and loses concentration with the rest of the word. His ability to get the intonation wrong started to turn English into a different language. As for foreign names and places, the fun was often trying to fathom where or whom he actually meant.

All in all, it was OK, but that is all.
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- Derrick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-03-2013
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books