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Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War Hardcover – November 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
John Boyd (1927-1997) was a brilliant and blazingly eccentric person. He was a crackerjack jet fighter pilot, a visionary scholar and an innovative military strategist. Among other things, Boyd wrote the first manual on jet aerial combat, was primarily responsible for designing the F-15 and the F-16 jet fighters, was a leading voice in the post-Vietnam War military reform movement and shaped the smashingly successful U.S. military strategy in the Persian Gulf War. His writings and theories on military strategy remain influential today, particularly his concept of the "OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) Loop," which all the military services-and many business strategists-use to this day. Boyd also was a brash, combative, iconoclastic man, not above insulting his superiors at the Pentagon (both military and civilian); he made enemies (and fiercely loyal acolytes) everywhere he went. His strange, mercurial personality did not mesh with a military career, making his 24 years in the Air Force (1951-1975) difficult professionally and causing serious emotional problems for Boyd's wife and children. Coram's worthy biography is deeply researched and detailed, down to describing the fine technical points of some of Boyd's theories. A Boyd advocate (he "contributed as much to fighter aviation as any man in the history of the Air Force," Coram notes), Coram does not shy away from Boyd's often self-defeating abrasiveness and the neglect and mistreatment of his long-suffering wife and children, and keeps the story of a unique life moving smoothly and engagingly.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The late Colonel John Boyd, United States Air Force, began his career as a supremely proficient fighter pilot in the Korean War, after which he went on to develop the concept of energy maneuvering that has been the basis for fighter tactics and designs for 30 years. He proceeded militantly to advocate simpler fighter designs and attracted a group of like-minded civilian and uniformed reformers, known as the Acolytes, who were mostly as unorthodox as he. After his retirement, he developed strategic concepts based on the velocity of attack, which, while they may not be as original as Coram claims, reminded the armed forces of velocity of attack at a time when they direly needed reminding. On the personal front, Boyd, the product of a dysfunctional family, generated another, which doesn't make pretty reading. The sheer mass of information Coram pumps out requires some military knowledge, if only not to be taken in by all of Coram's claims about Boyd, and such knowledgeable readers will most appreciate this study of an American military reformer. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Acknowledging the source and impact of his thought on the world is well overdue. But John Boyd did not seek recognition for himself so much as for his ideas. And in that respect, he has been recognized for sometime as he had wished. This is a wonderful study of an imperfect human being who shifted the thinking paradigm of a generation while going unnoticed for his unmatched ability to think outside the box and challenge conventional wisdom across such diverse disciplines of study.
Mr. Coram has done a wonderful job of catpuring the essence of John Boyd's life by focusing on his ideas and their impact. At the same time, none of the personality quirks or shortcomings are glossed over to make him any less human. John Boyd remains a man with flaws yet able to make an incredible impact on the world.
It tends to be repetitive but the concepts Boyd came up with challenged an entire range of subjects
If you want to read about a fighter pilots missions Eric you will be disappointed. An excellent book that will encourage you to possibly totally reevaluate many aspects of your own life.
Boyd was very eccentric but his findings are the work of a genius? Possibly
Boyd, is one of those "Brilliant Minds" that comes along all to infrequently, to challenge and change the system while at the same time making historic advances and changes to the science, Industry and academics of their industry. America needs more people like John Boyd.
This is more than a "Must" read, this book should be "Mandatory" for all leadership training, both in the military and industry.
Most recent customer reviews
Well done. Well researched.Read more