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

Boyd by Robert Coram
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Aug 12, 12

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Read from June 01 to July 01, 2012, read count: 1

I only rated Boyd 3 out of 5 stars. The reason for this is that I think that the author has not done full due diligence on some of the material that he has been given, most likely in interviews, before writing it as fact. One particular 'fact' that really grated on me was Coram writing the F-4 Phantom off as a fighter because it did not meet Boyd's criteria for a fighter - the are numerous similar examples in the book which I believe are just the result of either inadequate research or a desire to canonise Boyd as some sort of voice in the wilderness.

One comes through very clearly to any military reader of this book is that one of the main reasons behind Boyd's isolation by the USAF was Boyd himself - if he had played a long game, it is likely that he could have both realised the fulfilment of his dream AND achieve 'stardom' in the military sense. Instead he opted for tactical engagements that did much to turn the system against him.

That notwithstanding, this should be compulsory reading for anyone who glibly prattles on about the OODA Loop and the odds are positive that they probably neither understand it or where it comes from: THAT message is what makes this book worth reading regardless of whether you are in business, aeronautical engineering or aspire to be a fighter pilot.

Apart from the flaw detailed above, Boyd is well-written and a good study of a man who probably changed the world in more ways than he realised (or probably anyone else for that matter). I read the Nook version and I think that this is lacking any of the drawing or other images that may be in a print version.
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