Regular price: $26.59

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest US fighter pilot ever - the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than 40 seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft - the F-15 and F-16. Still, others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story.

Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed. Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world, and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes - a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune, but for his country.

©2002 Robert Coram (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    333
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    278
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    322
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Story

This is a long but great story of our nation's aeronautical history. I would absolutely recommend it if you are interested in history or aviation!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding!

I loved learning the background behind the legendary Col. John Boyd. The reader does an excellent job of telling the life story of Col. Boyd, and there was obviously a great deal of research done prior to the book being written. I highly recommend this book!

Semper Fi, Colonel.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent book. Great story and narration.

Excellent book about a fascinating man and his contributions to modern military strategy and weapons systems. The narration is compelling and professional.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Boyd, An overlooked game changer.

A fascinating behind scene look of one man's impact on today's military and the politics fought.

One man the nation should be great full to have served us all.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Stick With It if You Want a Rare Gem

Any additional comments?

This was not what I expected at all but turned into a fascinating story about the military machine. At first it seems as if it is written by a Boyd evangelist (and it occasionally takes a trip back to that feeling throughout) but it is an amazing story none the less. It is not so much about a fighter pilot as about a man whom I believe was somewhere on the autism spectrum and managed to do some pretty amazing feats inside of a huge government bureaucracy. Do not get this book expecting dogfight descriptions, though there are some. Just get it and let it take you down the path it wants to. You will not regret it if you like a good story.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An absolutely great read

What did you love best about Boyd?

I loved how it covered the history of modern aviation in terms of the design of aircraft.

Any additional comments?

A friend recommended the book to me and I finally got around to reading/listening to it. It is better than I ever could have possibly expected. It does a great job of documenting and explaining how modern aviation took form in terms of tactics and plain design. Really a diamond in the rough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not what I expected

I think this is the most down to earth, soup to nuts story about John Boyd. I felt the biographer did not pull any punches to tell the story. Great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Recommend

I thought this was slow at first, but eventually it but and I find it incredibly interesting. A great story that details how influential Boyd was in so many military and DoD policies, practices, and advancements.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding

An inspiring life story of one of the best military strategist in history and his incessant battles against a military bureaucracy that resisted change. The contributions he made were tragically juxtaposed with his abysmal efforts as a father and husband.

The second half of the book, where we learn about the origins of Boyd's theories and their fundamental principles, I found to be more compelling, though the subject matter requires a lot of secondary reading to fully appreciate. The OODA Loop can be a powerful tool if understood.

On pure literary value, the stories that fill this book entertained me and never felt the pace drag.

Critique: the author goes to great lengths, through tone, word choice, etc., to paint Boyd as the white knight and everyone opposed to him as enemies. In reality nothing is ever this cut and dry. The Pentagon and Generals seemed almost mystical in their disdain for the well-being of servicemen. Then again, this depiction may be entirely accurate and lacking undue bias.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Flawed Jem

Read the book in 2005. Thought it was a topic long overdo. Was excited and still impressed by its long bull session quality. Coram spins a good yarn. While I can enjoy from his go get them style, it tends to blanket the narrative. He goes to the trouble of showing the cost Boyd's career choices cost him as a father, but his family is never a serious part of the narrative. The bureaucracy is equally superficial. In some ways listening to the story bought out more of the flaws than reading it did. I think I down play the awkward parts. I get the idea that Boyd was confrontational, but the narrative managed to make him buffoonish, not a maverick. Still it does convey a sense of the man and his ideas quite well. 8 17 2016

3 of 5 people found this review helpful