At the outbreak of war, the Curtiss P-40 was America's best fighter plane, though outclassed by the British Spitfire, the German Messerschmitt 109, and probably the Japanese Zero. But the United States could build them by the thousand. First France, then Britain, and finally China tried desperately to buy the shark-faced Curtiss fighter--a story that historian Daniel Ford tells here with grace and humor. In the end, China was loaned the money to buy 100 planes from a Curtiss production run of "Tomahawks," as the P-40 was known to the Royal Air Force. China also hired 100 pilots to fly them. The result was the American Volunteer Group--the "Flying Tigers" who won immortality over the rice fields of Burma and the mountains of southwestern China from December 1941 to July 1942. This fascinating tribute to the P-40 also contains a facsimile of the RAF Pilot's Manual for the Tomahawk, annotated by AVG veteran Erik Shilling, along with a list of the 100 Hawks and what is known about each of them. Good reading for Flying Tiger buffs, and an essential resource for flight simmers.