This is one of those rare history books that reads like a first rate novel or thriller. I obviously knew how it ended but found it to be compelling reading and had difficulty putting it down.
The author writes in a very reader friendly manner and has a knack for making the reader feel they are virtually in the middle of whatever event is under discussion. The history of not only the formation and decline of PATCO is throughly covered in the book but the attendant political and economic situation is reviewed in context as well as a very good overview of labor relations during the time period in question. It was interesting to learn of the controllers, most of which were not college graduates, being a bit elitist in their thinking and actions. This was one of the issues that later worked to their detriment when organized labor in the form of the AFL-CIO was deciding what to do to support the PATCO strike. The actions of PATCO in absolutely refusing to compromise with the FAA during the negotiations leading up to President Reagan's firing order strikes me as being both arrogant and lacking in some basic and fundamental principles of labor relations. They may well have been professionals but their actions many times were more hubris than professional.
I also found it interesting how incompetent and arrogant the FAA leadership was for virtually all of this time frame. The leadership of the FAA could really be a poster child for basic incompetance and childish behavior and much of the blame for the PATCO strike lies directly at their feet.
If you are looking for a first rate primer on the PATCO strike and subsequent firing of all the controllers by President Reagan and all of the attendant political, economic, and social issues of the time not to mention some excellent inside information on organized labor, this is a must read. Remember, President Reagan was the president of a labor union in his career and you will be surprised by his actions toward PATCO. There is much in this book that was not known at the time and well worth reading. Highly recommended.