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Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of The Berlin Airlift-June 1948-May 1949 Paperback – Bargain Price, January 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416541209
  • ASIN: B005DI96Q8
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Re-evaluating what has been called the first battle of the cold war, noted presidential biographer and syndicated columnist Reeves (President Kennedy) takes a closer look at the courageous young American and British pilots who, in order to bring food, fuel, and medicine to a Berlin blockaded by Russia, flew aging cargo planes into Soviet airspace in the fragile post-WWII years. Vying with the West for control of Berlin and Germany , Stalin choked off the defeated German capital with 400,000 Red Army soldiers, and the Washington hawks called for war with Moscow. But Truman, whom Reeves calls a hero for persevering against skeptics, pursued the airlift instead. Using diaries, letters, and government documents, Reeves shows the suffering of the vanquished German people, the calculated coldness of Soviet officials, and the individual pilots who risked their lives to save their former enemies. This probing book reveals the intricate talks that led to the unraveling of Stalin's demands, the partitioning of Germany, and the creation of NATO. Reeves gives us a mesmerizing portrait of America at its best when challenged by Russia's tyranny. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Richard Reeves's journalistic instincts shine in the hundreds of interviews he conducted with key players in the Berlin Airlift, as well as in his extensive digging in Allied and Russian archives to uncover previously unpublished documents. The author's goal in Daring Young Men is to highlight the sacrifices and courage of a country already stretched to the breaking point by World War II and to bring back into our history the effort's potent (and ironic) humanitarian message: "This time [the soldiers] were supposed to free the people they had been trying to kill, and who had been trying to kill them, only three years earlier." If Reeves focuses more on the individual stories than the larger political and historical context, he nonetheless succeeds admirably, relating important history well and with passion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Richard Reeves is the author of presidential bestsellers, including President Nixon and President Kennedy, acclaimed as the best nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine. A syndicated columnist and winner of the American Political Science Association's Carey McWilliams Award, he lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Richard Reeves does a marvelous job telling this story.
George J. Heidemark
It makes one feel that there are times that good decisions are made and we can be proud of the things that our country has done.
betty wheeler
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in World War II/Cold War history or aviation history.
Jason Saltoun-Ebin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By David W. Overton on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. As Tom Brokaw suggests on the dust cover, it is highly readable. It is also important history that has been covered in quite a few other books, but, remarkably, there seem to be many people who are unfamiliar with that history or prone to confuse it with the much later building of the Berlin Wall.

The author is able to mingle important events with some very engaging miniportraits of participants at all levels in the crisis. The German residents of Berlin are given voices, and the German airplane loaders and mechanics are real people here. His book is also unlike other works by American writers by giving more space and detail to the British/Commonwealth contribution to the airlift.

I feel I am a good test of the book's merits because I lived in Berlin during the blockade as an American dependent and joined many others in watching the American planes land at Tempelhof and the occasional British Sunderland land on Wansee. I have also read many other books on this topic. Without taking anything away from a fine piece of work, I would suggest that there are a few places where the proofreading left a little to be desired. For example, the General Clay I remember lived around the corner from us in a district called Dahlem, not Darmstadt as the author suggests at two points.

Overall, a fine contribution to the literature.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John E. Drury VINE VOICE on January 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To Richard Reeves, the Berlin Airlift was more that an eleven month heroic effort to supply the beleaguered Berliners; it was the true beginning of the Cold War, the pre-launch for the ultimate unification of Germany, and the beginning of the modern air cargo transport business. Reeves skillfully weaves together airmens' tales, Berliners recollections and the histories of the likes of Harry Truman, Ernest Bevan, Willy Brandt, Lucius Clay, William Tunner and others to give the reader a complete, satisfying and often wry recounting of heroism, extraordinary generosity and human kindness. This is a wonderful book for World War II history and aviation buffs alike.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jason Saltoun-Ebin on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in World War II/Cold War history or aviation history.

The book is easy to read and fun as well -- it really reads like a novel. Plus, as an American, it is great to read about our armed forces doing the impossible -- keeping a city alive through only air support. The human side was also really touching as the pilots making the airlifts -- now called "angels in uniform" by the Berliners -- were many of the same pilots who made the devastating bombing runs just a few years before.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Richard Reeves writes an historical account that reads like a novel. You can really see everything with his ability to form pictures with his words. Reading this is like listening to my father and his old brown boot army buddies; I felt like I was back there years ago listening to these men tell of their problems and triumphs. He has captured their spirit and stories, in his descriptions of Clay, of the stoppages of trains and convoys into Berlin as the crisis grew. Even glide ratios are given and technical details are made interesting and blended into the narrative
The book is amazingly complete; no where else have I read the stories of the `lost wives' club, how the families of the pilots and ground personnel ordered into service had to leave their wives and families and the problems they experienced. It is so good to have recorded the stories of the enlisted men, which so many historians overlook. There is much written about Lt. Gail Halvorsen who became renowned as the candy bomber.
As someone who flew into Templehof in the 70's and stayed in Berlin; I can attest to the fact that no where else in Europe were Americans more loved and respected than in Berlin. Everyone had personal stories that they loved to tell
The stories of the problems and triumphs are all told; including the crashes and loss of life. The airlift was not all wonderful; the frustrations are presented, the bone weariness and low morale are described as well as the elation of a mission accomplished. This is an unbelievable true story that should not be forgotten and this book has presented its' history in a well done chronicle worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anthony D. Magnetto on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every American between the ages of 15 and 55 should read this book. It presents an important part of American history that is almost never mentioned in today's revisionist world. It is a story of individual valor and heroic devotion to duty by men who were just beginning to get their civilian lives back in order and who only 2 years prior were fighting in WWII against the very country that they now,by 1948, were risking their lives to feed and clothe and rebuild. It also gives the reader a glimpse into the courage of President Truman and the utter evil of the Soviet Union. If I had the money I would send a copy of Daring Young Men to every high school in the USA so our children could be made aware of this incredible story. Hopefully, someone will have the financial backing to bring this story to the big screen> What a glorious movie this would make as these heroes dedicated themselves to crashing through the Iron Curtain providing relief to Germany.
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