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Mig Pilot: The Final Escape of Lt. Belenko Paperback – October, 1983


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (Mm) (October 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380538687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380538683
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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I decided to look it up to see if was still available.
md95
Mig Pilot is a captivating and fascinating story of a Soviet pilot who escapes Russia and flies his Mig-25 to Japan.
Jim Johnson
Surprisingly, this book has very little to do with flying.
RE Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sherman A. Thompson on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so blown away by this book I had to meet Viktor in person and now count him as a personal friend. The book is factual in every respect and is difficult to put down once started. John Barron is an excellent author and did a first class job of writing Viktor's story. In addition to an exciting escape story it reveals why the Soviet Union had to collapse of its own ineptitude, deceit, and corruption. It details humorous incidents such as army pilots' mess-hall riots due to bad food. Mig Pilot is also a biography of an exceptional man whose intelligence saw through a lifetime of brainwashing. The story is humorous in places and engrossing from beginning to end. It starts right out with Viktor's desperate and harrowing escape flight to freedom in his top-secret Mig-25 Foxbat, then in subsequent chapters details the life events that led to his courageous decision to "go for broke" and make his live-or-die dash to freedom. It illustrates how America probably could have given the Soviets all of its top secrets and they would have found a way to screw up making use of them.Viktor is not only a first class pilot, he is also a true hero. Don't lend this book to anyone and expect to get it back.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. G Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book to pieces -- literally -- when I was in my early teens, and just seeing the paperback cover reproduced here on Amazon ("Russia gave him everything a man could want -- except freedom" -- printed on the back) brings me way, way, waaaaay back, to an old story that never gets old.

Viktor Belenko was a Soviet fighter pilot who defected to Japan in the 1970s -- in his top-secret Mig 25 "Foxbat", at the time the world's fastest and most feared interceptor. On the surface he seemed an extremely unlikely candidate to jump the fence of the worker's paradise: the son of a decorated partisan fighter of the Second World War, he had overcome his poverty-stricken family's lack of political connections with a Samurai-like work-ethic and, against all odds, become a pilot of the most coveted and jealously-guarded aircraft in the USSR. He made good money, had the best priveleges, and could have looked forward to a cushy retirement when he was only 40 years old. His defection was as much a question of "Why?" as a question of "How?"

Author John Barron writes a compact, highly readable account of Belenko's life and the long series of incidents which turned him from an idealistic young communist, who sheds tears over the death of Stalin, to a man so filled with hatred for the regime he seeks not merely to escape it but to hurt it in the most grievous possible way -- by handing its most precious secrets to the enemy.

"Mig Pilot" is one of those stories that can be enjoyed on several levels. Read through quickly, it is a first-class adventure, a "will he or won't he get away with this" thriller.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chuck R. on October 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book twice while the Soviet Union still stood. The book is brilliently written. You get a view of life inside the former Soviet Union, inside their millitary and civillian life, and you see through the eyes of a refugee when he first experiences America. The story helps you to appreciate what you have here. Lt. Belenko is a very courageous man.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 1997
Format: Paperback
A must read for those interested in POLITICAL/SOCIAL history. It offers a fairly short and candid look into the Russia of the 60's and 70's- from living conditions to how its citizens were taught to view the west. After the defection, we learn Belenko's realizations and revelations of the real America
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RE Reader on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book only once, many years ago, having checked it out of the library of a U.S. airbase in South Korea. I still think of portions of it often. I am a non-fiction reader by nature, so I esteem a true story to be of infinitely more value than any great tale of rings or of teenage witches.
Surprisingly, this book has very little to do with flying. It is mostly about what it was like to live in the Soviet Union and to be taught constantly about the Evil Americans. The most remarkable part of the story is how Viktor Belenko came to his decision to defect, which I will not dare to spoil here.
I have been in the U.S. Air Force for a long time, most of that time as a pilot. Whenever the frequent opportunity arises to whine about how I'm underappreciated, and how the government and the Air Force and the base housing office and the squadron seem to be run by a committee of morons, I think about Belenko's description of how the airbase where he was a fighter pilot removed snow from the runway. Then I count my blessings again. I was not particularly patriotic before I read MiG Pilot. But after reading it, and subsequently flying throughout the world and seeing people in several countries still plowing fields with an ox in the 21st Century, I have learned how wonderful it is to live in a place where people pay extra money to help themselves eat less food, while not for a moment even realizing how incongruous it is. Better still, I appreciate the opportunity to have become a military pilot without my family having any necessary political connections. Were I a billionaire, I would fund my own production of MiG Pilot, the movie, with Matt Damon as Viktor Belenko. You get the idea. Read the book.
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