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Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot Paperback – November 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
I was also disappointed by the fact that much of the book isn't even about Jimmy Stewart. Stewart seems to be a thread running through a broader story about World War II in Europe and, more specifically, the air war as fought by our B-24 Liberator bomb groups. I say that because more often than not the author deviates from his presumed subject, Stewart, and goes off on a tangent (e.g., Eisenhower's appointment, George C. Marshall, one officer or another, the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940, manufacturing B-24 bombers, the Wright crew, Churchill and Roosevelt at Casablanca, and various reminiscences of one person or another). Perhaps I'm being too critical, but I would estimate that only about 30% of the book actually deals directly with Jimmy Stewart while the remainder concerns other topics. And much of the 30% is a bit repetitive.
All that said, this is still an interesting history of the air war in Europe, much of it in the words of men who actually served with Jimmy Stewart.Read more ›
This book though is on his wartime career. Entering the Army early in 1941 (and seeing his salary drop from $6,000 a month to $21) he was by the end of the war a seasoned bomber pilot with 20 missions behind him, including a visit to Berlin.
In part this book has to concentrate on the differences a movie star has to see (the Army didn't want him killed), but most of it is on the way Jimmy Stewart handled himself in the War. It's a view of the war seen in movies like 12 O'Clock high, but this one is a personal view as seen by one man. If even half of what the book says is true, Jimmy Stewart clearly deserved his decorations.
Smith himself was an air force officer at roughly the same time Stewart was so he does bring to the book the knowledge and experience of war time service and an intimate knowledge of how things really were. Parts of his writing flow easily and fans of Stewart's acting feel they can hear his voice coming from the pages as it tells the tale of a man who passionately wanted to serve his country, whose life could be summed up in his own words "what's wrong with wanting to fight for your country? Why are people reluctant to use the word patriotism?"
Reading about Stewart's exploits as a student, a trainer and finally a combat leader, I would find pages flying by but then the flight would crash to the ground. There are a few significant problems with the book that kept being some what jarring. Firstly Stewart himself did not write about his war experiences. Much of the book comes from his official war record, a knowledge by Smith about how the 8th Air Force operated and many, many interviews with people who knew Stewart in those days. The problem is that introducing these people comes across as severe padding to the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a fascinating story about someone who I thought was only one of the best actors. So good.Published 5 days ago by Marianne Mazzola
my favorite actor I knew he had joined air force during world war 2 and served as bomber pilot what a wonderful story of a man who served his country to me he was a true hero... Read morePublished 9 days ago by barbara bednar
Being a Jimmy Stewart fan, read it cover-to-cover as soon as it arrived! A great read of a great American!Published 11 days ago by S. A.
Sort of boring. I expected more about the missions he went on but it was mostly about upper rank commands.Published 14 days ago by robert franki
A wonderful subject, but Starr Smith relied to much on a cut and paste approach, i.e., pages of editorials from others, rather than original prose.Published 15 days ago by masterguns
An absolutely fantastic book I just could not lay down. Best WWII biography I have read in a long, long time.Published 18 days ago by Kirby L Skaggs
A side of a man known more as a movie star than as a military man who committed to fighting a righteous fight in World War IIPublished 23 days ago by Cm
Interesting read of a man who was the same in life and in the movies, up most respect for one my favorite actors but the writer and his presentation was lacking. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Charles W Wiley