Tom's Reviews > Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Boyd by Robert Coram
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Sep 23, 2010

it was amazing
Read from September 09 to 23, 2010

I became familiar with Boyd through studying quality improvement and performance management and thought this going to be a dry, dry, treatise on improving workflows.

I feel somewhat stupid for having had that opinion as I clearly neglected the most bad ass portion of Boyd's life:

He was a FIGHTER PILOT.

A very compelling story. Subverting Pentagon bureaucracy may not seem a premise for good reading, but I literally laughed out loud a few times at Boyd's maneuvers. Don't get me wrong, he was an asshole, but wow, his tenacity makes me feel like some sort of unmotivated hack.

Not being one to keep current on fighter design; I wonder if anyone ever stripped the F-16 down to make it more like Boyd et al originally designed it?

It was interesting to see the cameos from recent history make appearances. Unsurprised to see Rumsfeld try to push for falsified reports. I can't decide if seeing the respect Boyd gave to Cheney was about ego. Also, not sure if it confirmed the 'evil genius' narrative, or contradicted the 'monomaniac who thinks without nuance' narrative. Both maybe.

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