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Kelly: More Than My Share of It All Paperback – December 17, 1989
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“The highly objective autobiography of one of the real giants of the aerospace world, . . . written so clearly that the average person cannot only understand it but gets caught up in it.”—Aerospace Historian
“Fast-paced, very readable, and technically interesting. It covers a fifty-year span of American aviation without being a history book. . . What makes this book so valuable is Mr. Johnson's exposition of the mind-set to find the simplest, least expensive fix to each technological problem. . . . Recommended for all harried technologists and defense planners, it will encourage one's faith that a better way is possible.”—H. Lawrence Elman, National Defense
“A good look at a fascinating man who has led, and who continues to lead, a perfectly charmed life."—Air Force
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Top Customer Reviews
Kelly, the book, offers perhaps a more important gift to those who follow. Looking at his technical achievements is like driving down the highway at 120 staring out the side window at the double yellow line. You get the sensation but no useful guidance.
The gift of the book is that it sets forth in simple terms the vision and principles that led to these incredible achievements. Kelly focused on simplicity - simplicity in mission statement, simplicity in concept, simplicity in leadership and simplicity in execution. Of course brilliant engineering was also the order of the day.
We live in a business world increasingly dominated by individuals holding advanced degrees in business management. I was part of the process, spending a number of years as adjunct faculty in a leading MBA program. The challenge in business, and politics, is not the lack of sophistication in our analytical techniques, but rather in our leadership, ethics, vision and communication. Kelly not only had these virtues, but left a priceless journal of his voyage through some of the greatest achievements of the 20'th Century.
For those with little interest in aircraft or technology, the book offers insights on how to overcome complex challenges in remarkably short periods of time and at a fraction of the accepted cost levels.Read more ›
Kelly was born into rural northern Michigan to a working class family in 1910, a very modest begining for a meteoric career, but one which would prove fundamental. His family left him with a solid work ethic and a drive for learning, which he married to an intense interest in aviation he found by age 12. Working early in construction taught him the value of practicality and gave him a good knowledge of machinery. Guided half by accident and half by design he attended the University of Michigan gaining an excellent engineering degree - where aerospace engineers had to first complete strings of courses in all other engineering fields and where one of the nation's first wind tunnels was located. For someone who has suffered through engineering school, particularly being up till 2:00AM for days in a row studying in the dorms with a 8:00AM class looming while it seemed like over 50% of the rest of the students were running through the halls drunkenly fondling each other with classes in hyphenated American studies no earlier than noon, Kelly's experiences in college were, sadly, reassuring.Read more ›
The book lacks the prose of Skunk Works and the amount of detail, but I think its a vital read for anyone interested in Aviation, and a MUST read for any aerospace engineers.
Kelly: The greatest Aerospace Engineer (possibly) of all time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having admired "Kelly" Johnson's designs at Lockheed, from the P-38 to the SR-71, I felt remiss that IO waited so long to read his autobiography. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Ralph B. Lehotsky
Not just the life of the greatest practical aerospace engineer, but a history of some of the greatest technical achievements this country has undertaken and succeeded at. Read morePublished 27 days ago by P. Brow
Inspiring and candid autobiography from an entrepreneurial engineer who helped to create or nurture the development a number aircraft that pushed the of state of the art. Read morePublished 1 month ago by skmurphy
Many will pan the writing style here. This is one of those Americana stories that simply just needs to be read. Thank you Kelly.Published 2 months ago by Jeff Kindle Johnston
Looking for much more detail on the projects. This book was a tad discontinuous, with the first section a great read, but the second half as though it belonged in another title.Published 2 months ago by JtH
Mr. Johnson had contact with some of the greatest people in aviation during his tenure at the Skunk Works. This book barely mentions any of them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James Helmick
An easy read about a man who got things done without any BS. Men like Johnson made this country great!Published 4 months ago by MFL