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Mig Pilot: The Final Escape of Lt. Belenko Paperback – October, 1983
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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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Top Customer Reviews
I think that some of the importance of this book may be lost on the younger generations, but those of us who lived in the 70's and 80's know what the Soviet Union represented and the pervasive sense of dread at what could have become a nuclear world war three. This book really shows how far away that may have actually been due to the inherent corruption and inefficiency of the Soviets.
And so it is. Every American should read this. Just as the history of capitalism has been smeared and obliterated, so the true nature of communism has been whitewashed. This book concretizes the latter in a moving and brilliant way.
My favorite part was when he was aboard one of our aircraft carriers. He noticed the men working together and the officers were not abusing the enlisted men. He asked about a chaplain's job. "Does he act as a political officer?" When asked about a political officer, he said, "Who tells the men how they must vote?" The honest, spontaneous laughter caused him to believe that this country is for real.
I'm a very poor reader but I stuck with the book and finished it in 3 days (I told you I was a poor reader) You will probably finish it in one sitting.Yes it's that interesting, if you love truth and history instead of novels.