A PROUD AMERICAN by Joe Foss

A PROUD AMERICAN

The Autobiography of Joe Foss
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An authentic American hero's ``I-did-it-my-way'' memoir that, though less than reflective and more than self-satisfied, may hold considerable interest for a wide readership. The 77-year-old Foss grew up on a South Dakota farm where he learned about hard physical labor and responsibility. Interested from an early age in aviation, the author worked his way through college and joined the Marine Corps, where he earned his wings. Posted to Guadalcanal as a fighter pilot, Foss shot down 26 Japanese planes, breaking the record set by Eddie Rickenbacker in WW I and winning the Congressional Medal of Honor. After V-J Day, Foss served two terms as Republican governor of his home state, and a stint as commissioner of the American Football League. Pro football proved a springboard to prime-time TV, where he worked as host of The American Sportsman and The Outdoorsman; these popular shows enabled Foss to indulge his lifelong passion for hunting and fishing in glamorous venues throughout the world. Later on, he became KLM's man in Washington and then president of the National Rifle Association. In the course of his varied career, the just- plain-folks author rubbed elbows with a host of notables (Lindbergh, Nixon, FDR, et al.) upon whom he passes typically easy judgments here. And, while less than forthcoming about his private life, Foss does touch upon an unsuccessful first marriage and the happier second match that influenced him to become a born-again Christian. He devotes more than half of his text, though, to his memories of young manhood and to vivid firsthand accounts of aerial combat in WW II's Pacific theater. Straight-from-the-heartland reminiscences of a high-flier whose eventful life seems to have been remarkably free of complexity and doubt.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-75735-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1992