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LeMay: A Biography (Great Generals)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
LeMay was a terrifying, complex, and brilliant general. In World War II, he ordered the firebombing of Tokyo and was in charge when Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths--a fact he liked to celebrate by smoking Cuban cigars. But LeMay was also the man who single-handedly transformed the American a
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Nick Lloyd
Three stars simply because I did learn new information about a figure I had only a passing knowledge of. However, this is perhaps the most sycophantic biography I've ever read.
Bear
Apr 07, 2008 Bear rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the man and his efforts... Concise, but accurate from what others who knew the man told me. A great title from the "Great Generals Series"!
Carl Rollyson
Sep 02, 2012 Carl Rollyson rated it liked it
"Whatever other names arise," Barrett Tillman writes in "LeMay: A Biography," General Curtis LeMay and Admiral Chester Nimitz "were the two commanders most responsible for defeating the Japanese Empire." Nimitz rebuilt the Navy after Pearl Harbor and at Midway delivered a blow to the Japanese carrier force from which it could never recover. Similarly, LeMay took the air battle to the Japanese homeland, perfecting the B29 on bombing missions that may well have won the war even without the atomic ...more
Joseph Monaco
Aug 24, 2012 Joseph Monaco rated it really liked it
Outstanding and quick read on Curtis LeMay. General LeMay is my kind of leader--technically competant and confident, as he always led from the front as a 2d Lt and General Officer. He was an Army Air Corps Soldier first, later Airman, that clearly understood the short link between tactics and grand national strategy as he accelerated himself into a vital advocate (and public relations success story) for American Airpower.

LeMay was a self starter that seldom missed the marked: "Make sure you're
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Scott Martin
Aug 15, 2015 Scott Martin rated it liked it
(Audiobook). This work was a somewhat brief overview of the life of one of the most influential American generals in the 20th century. A legendary bomber pilot who rose to power to become one of the true giants of the USAF, LeMay made an indelible mark on American airpower and the Cold War. His technical passion and dedication to improvement and strong standards went a long way to shaping SAC and the Cold War Air Force. The work gives him a great deal of praise for his actions, but it does not r ...more
James Crabtree
Curtis Lemay's career as an airman spanned several decades and many roles. his book looks at highlights of his life, as commander of a bomber wing in China, as the leader on the ground for the incendiary raids against Japan, and as the commander of Strategic Air Command. In every instance he brought a unit that was barely functioning and made it into a potent weapon of war. His story is an important one for anyone who really wants to understand the Cold War and what was at stake.

The book does ha
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Raj Agrawal
Feb 23, 2016 Raj Agrawal rated it liked it
Less of a biography, and more of a use of LeMay to build an argument for a set of enduring leadership principles, the author effectively accounts (and perhaps unintentionally, embellishes) LeMay's role in US national security from WWII to modern conflict. While Tillman overlooks many of LeMay's critical weaknesses such as the blanket application of force, the application of the "Asian" metaphor on Vietnam, his poor advice in the Cuban crisis, and his dismissal of Schriever's ICBM delivery system ...more
Mike Prochot
Oct 28, 2011 Mike Prochot rated it liked it
Shelves: world-war-two
Short, informative but incomplete "biography" of Curtis Lemay, more of an introduction really. Hits the high points but lacking in regard to the General's personal story. While the author brings up generally accepted or maybe "widely retold" anecdotes that illustrate Lemay's personality, we never quite find out how he came to be - in the General's own words.

Worth a read if only to inspire you to find out more about the man and his career.
Karl Hafer, Jr.
Jan 03, 2010 Karl Hafer, Jr. rated it liked it
Pretty good - if you want just a cursory overview of his life. Some of the most interesting things about him were largely ignored or simply mentioned in passing.
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Born a fourth-generation Oregonian, descended from American pioneers, Revolutionary War Patriots, Pilgrims (e.g. Priscilla Alden) and Pocahontas, Tillman was raised on the family wheat and cattle ranch. His younger brothers include a breeder of exotic animals and a Rhodes Scholar. In high school he was an Eagle Scout[citation needed], won two state titles as a rudimental drummer, and was a champio ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Great Generals (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Bradley: A Biography
  • Custer: Lessons in Leadership
  • Eisenhower: A Biography
  • Grant: A Biography
  • MacArthur
  • Marshall: Lessons in Leadership
  • Patton: A Biography
  • Pershing
  • Robert E. Lee: Lessons in Leadership

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