Criticism of this book is unwarranted. The author searched from one introduction to the next to find the airmen of WWII willing to tell their story. Sure, most of those he spoke to were from the RAAF or the RAF. That is more a result of a geography than anything else - they live in Australia.
It is important to note that he did include the stories of German pilots he was able to interview. Based on his wise handling of that material, I see no reason why he would not have included the stories of Russian, Canadian or South African air crew if that had been possible. For reviewers to discount this book for lack of American content, when it is an Australian book, is perplexing.
Michael Veitch has done a great job in preserving memories that future generations should know. I highly recommend this book.
I was disappointed to see a reviewer critical of this book for recounting a story told by a former flyer. Sure it was an ugly truth that there was mistrust and national rivalries between the Allies. It remains a regrettable and tragic fact, but I do not think we should ignore that reality.
The incident recounted in this book is one person's story. There are many other tremendous stories laid down in this book.
I have no desire to hear sanitised patriotic history. I prefer to learn how things really were - right or wrong, politically correct or woefully biased.
It is not the author's view, but the recollection of one individual who was there. Surely, as readers, we can accept that the terror of war in those urgent times led to many fears, suspicions, rivalries and tragedies.
I found the author's warmth of understanding for the veterans to be touching. He has done a great job of sensitively opening very deep memories. This book is a great effort at preserving history and I could not recommend it more highly.
This is a work of significant importance. It deserves to be read, considered, discussed and and absorbed into one's view of life and love. I truly expect that society will be altered by this book. Maybe not this year or next, but over time these ideas and insights will gain momentum and a reassessment of how we live and interact and love and learn will result.
I think this is one of the most important books written in the last decade. I would stake a larger claim, but I am mindful the Guns, Germs and Steel was written around a decade ago. If you are a fan of Jared Diamond or Desmond Morris, then you must read this book.
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