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Masters of the Air Audiobook

Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

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Publisher's Summary

This is the dramatic story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, this is a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden.

Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air no warriors had encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force Band. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943 an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the US Marine Corps.

The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors. Actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, as was “King of Hollywood” Clark Gable. The air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.

Strategic bombing did not win the war, but the war could not have been won without it. American airpower destroyed the rail facilities and oil refineries that supplied the German war machine. The bombing campaign was a shared enterprise: The British bombed at night while American bombers attacked by day - a technique that British commanders thought was suicidal.

Drawn from interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, this is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.

©2006 Donald L. Miller (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

Masters of the Air is a stunning achievement. The compound effect of the book’s narrative vitality and attention to human detail is terrific in all the meanings of the word - terrifying, extraordinary, highly admirable. What a story it is!” (David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (702 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Vance imperial, CA, United States 01-06-13
    Vance imperial, CA, United States 01-06-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    13
    10
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    "Direct Hit!"

    It was all I hoped for. You can't go wrong with this one. Ghaphic and realistic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul-Andre 06-25-16
    Paul-Andre 06-25-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    "Presenter"

    Presenter had no grasp of accents and adjustment for gender. Very annoying for a story where Europeans-particularly The English- woven through full story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Yelm, WA United States 06-21-16
    Amazon Customer Yelm, WA United States 06-21-16
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    10
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    "greatest generation"

    Great story , history as you never knew it . We owe a lot to these heros of the sky

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Bullard 06-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    17
    16
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    "Every WWII Course I Ever Wanted To Hear!"
    What made the experience of listening to Masters of the Air the most enjoyable?

    Combining Rich Detailed Research With Stunning Narrative Donald Miller through Robertson Dean Delivers A Tour De Force Tale Of The Mighty Eighth Air Force.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He put you everywhere, bombers flying high, in the freezing cold, the corridors of power, with the average person in the street of bombed cities, or a POW camp, literally everything.


    What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

    He kept it real, never fell into cliché, just pure goodness


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I tend to walk and listen, but sometimes I had to stop to digest the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth multiple listens, and if you are of an age, resist the urge to build a B-17 model while listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary R. 06-13-16
    Mary R. 06-13-16
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    22
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    "great stories"

    Compelling vignettes pepper a cogent tale of men and machines in the challenging combat in the stratosphere. Moral struggles, POW tales, political challenges, killing weather, British pubs, London leave, German production, concentration camps combine in a rich tapestry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Leatham OGDEN, UTAH, US 05-10-16
    Barbara Leatham OGDEN, UTAH, US 05-10-16
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    2
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    "Outstanding detail that gathered my head and heart!"

    This is the type of book I that I listen again and again...
    We owe so mush to these men of conviction and devotion!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Hall Central Iowa 04-30-16
    Bruce Hall Central Iowa 04-30-16 Member Since 2015

    bdhall

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    "Very informative."

    This book is fantastic! It's very well written. It's covers a huge range of topics. Every aspect of the European air war is covered. Bombers, fighters, and the theory are discussed. The early history of air power is discussed. I'm a history buff. This book satisfied me on that level, but also covers the personal aspects of the airmen. The reader is perfect, he has a fantastic voice. Like listening to a very authoritative history professor who knows his subjects thoroughly. I can't recommend it highly enough. I was sad to come to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaun 04-26-16
    Shaun 04-26-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book"

    Very good book, but long. Interesting story and amazing people who gave so much for our great country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 04-23-16
    David 04-23-16 Member Since 2011

    David

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    "Changed my opinion of the Swiss..."

    This book is written by a bit of a statistics wonk who draws you in because the story that he tells is so different from what we know from movies and the like. You can tell from its completeness that he has real passion towards the subject matter, and I found that he had passed that passion on to me. The book has unexpectedly long, unexpectedly easy to finish, and unexpectedly gritty at times. A fun read, if you like this sort of stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "One of the best"

    One of the best WW2 books I have read. The scope of the book is large, giving a very good feel for the war as a whole, but you get to know individual pilots and gunners as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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