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. 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It's unfortunate more people don't know about the accomplishments of Boyd. His career spanned decades and shaped all military services. It's telling that he's still largely ignored by USAF, Navy and Army yet the US Marines honor him and his teachings. The reader is very good in the audiobook version.
What an American Hero!
I HAD NEVER HEARD OF HIM. I lived through most of the same years. How could John Boyd have escaped my senses until now? I don't know, but this book allowed me to understand and appreciate the man in ways that never would have happened over a prolonged period. By compressing a life, you see all of the genius in tight sequence. Then you get it, like a punch in the mouth. It's more memorable that way.
If, like me, you've never heard of Col. John Boyd, let me bait the hook for you: He was a raw, crude individual who changed the world three times. Few geniuses or polished gentlemen ever even alter the world; he changed it, thrice.
And you lived right through it, like me, and never realized it. This book is your chance to make up for that error. You'll listen to it twice. I know, because I'm going to listen to it again.