A lively depiction of America's development of superior air power.

READ REVIEW

PACIFIC AIR

HOW FEARLESS FLYBOYS, PEERLESS AIRCRAFT, AND FAST FLATTOPS CONQUERED THE SKIES IN THE WAR WITH JAPAN

As a former naval officer who served during Vietnam, Sears (Such Men As These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies Over Korea, 2010, etc.) brings an insider's knowledge of combat to this comprehensive history of the air war in the Pacific during World War II.

The author begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, so unexpected that tragically the only group of American fighters to take to the air was shot down by friendly fire. Sears juxtaposes that chaotic scene with festivities at a new Grumman Aircraft Engineering facility scheduled to open the next day. America had begun to prepare for war with an impressive buildup during the previous year. By the end of the war, Grumman had put about 30,000 planes in the air, including 12,000 advanced F6F Hellcats, which gave U.S. forces a significant advantage in the Pacific—even though at the start of the war, the Japanese Zero was a faster fighter plane with a better climb rate and turning radius. Sears also tells the less well-known, fascinating story of the fearless test pilots who risked their lives. They were employed by Grumman beginning in the 1930s—before the 1941 boom—in the aircraft industry, and many were killed testing the capabilities of dive bombers as well as the new generation of fighter planes. The author shows how American fighter pilots compensated for the early superiority of the Zero by developing new tactical formations that allowed them to outfly the enemy, and he goes behind the scenes to describe the high morale of American airmen.

A lively depiction of America's development of superior air power.

Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-306-81948-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Da Capo

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

WHY WE'RE POLARIZED

A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more