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Yeager: An Autobiography
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Yeager: An Autobiography

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  4,474 ratings  ·  195 reviews
General Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot of them all -- the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound . . .the World War II flying ace who shot down a Messerschmitt jet with a prop-driven P-51 Mustang . . .the hero who defined a certain quality that all hotshot fly-boys of the postwar era aimed to achieve: the right stuff.

Now Chuck Yeager tells his whole incredi
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published 1985)
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,474 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this years ago but still remember it fondly.
Mark Mortensen
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography, wwii
Chuck Yeager grew up poor facing hardships and personal tragedies, but his family provided for his necessities through a strong work ethic and the tough times were put in the rearview mirror. When he started school he was seated alphabetically noting:“I sat in the back in the daydreamer’s row with the other Ys.”. He professed that his dreams were not about flying, but like a fish to water he landed in aviation. Full of ambition and gifted with keen eyesight he literally soared to uncharted terri ...more
Read this after Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" and was drawn to the character of Chuck Yeager. Written in the first person Yeager's (with co-write Leo Janos) style is spare and lean. This is an easy read and would be recommended to anyone with an interest in the history of the US Air Force, NASA, and flying. Yeager appears to be a likeable, but somewhat taciturn guy whose courage and loyalty to his colleages, family and country is unquestionable.
Ted Alling
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book moved me. From General Yeager's humble West Virginia upbringing to getting shot down in WW2 & evading the Germans, breaking the speed barrier, helping train NASA pilots, fighting in Vietnam and his UNREAL wife raising the family. It really is a must-read. Oh wait, he is still living too!!


"He was, without question, the best pilot this country ever produced" Dick Frost

"If you love the hell out of what you're doing, you're usually pretty good at it, and you wind up maki
James Halski
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, i realize my life is nothing of significance....
David Readmont-Walker
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rollicking Robin - what a life! General Yeager is real-life living legend. Amazing achievements, attitude and guts. Truly made of the right stuff. Highly recommended.
G.d. Brennan
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If I could jump inside one person's head Being-John-Malkovich style and experience their entire life, beginning-to-end, without regard to anything but the sheer roller coaster thrill of it, I'd probably pick Chuck Yeager. (Granted, the guy's not dead yet. But unless he meets a truly horrendous end--eaten alive, say, by Bengal Tigers, while slow-roasting over a barbecue pit--I'd consider myself a truly lucky man to see everything he's seen and do everything he's done.)

Ripping through the sound ba
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I saw General Yeager speak at the Pacific Aviation museum and he was absolutely hilarious and that was what prompted my reading this book - that and I liked that movie The Right stuff - and my little brother is in the AF so... gotta represent! I really enjoyed this book but I must admit that the parts I enjoyed the most were not about Yeager - they were about two extraordinary and unique women in his life - Pancho Barnes and Jackie Cochran. I'm wondering if there are biographies of them because ...more
C.R. Narayanan
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As soon as seeing the title of this book, people might think that it’s not their cup of tea. Many (who aren’t interested in aeroplanes and engineering) wouldn’t know who Chuck Yeager is. People who know about him don’t know him well — they think that he’s just a man who enjoyed his life by flying expensive toys. Many don’t understand what a legend he is. But, for the ones who know him well, he’s beyond a happy and successful human. He is a role-model. A hero. A man who shed light upon the dark ...more
Keenan Johnston
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book really gives great perspective on the evolution of fighter aircraft. Though a bit technical at times, he never loses you. Great stories on WWII, and how Yeager was the best out there. Really enjoyed hearing about the toll on his family life and all the inherent risks involved with doing a dangerous job, but doing something that you love.
Christian D.  Orr
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aviation buffs, history buffs
Chuck Yeager was one of my boyhood heroes, ever since I saw the IMAX movie "Speed" in the summer of 1986 at age 10. It was shortly after seeing that movie that I first read this autobiography, and I was absolutely enthralled to read bout Chuck's exploits such as (1) becoming an ace in a day by downing 5 Me-109s in a single engagement, (2) shooting down an Me-262 German jet fighter while flying a prop-driven P-51D Mustang, and of course, (3) breaking the sound barrier.

Now, reading it 33 years la
James Mason
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Super interesting read. I knew basically nothing going in but stayed up late many nights because this autobiography was a page turner. It was very well written with a good smattering of short, conversational stories all throughout but with solid themes maintained. The book and Yeager's life are a great window into the times. The little kid inside of me that's always been fascinated by fighter jets really enjoyed hearing what it's like in the cockpit and how some of the machinery works. The adult ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just stumbled across something that reminded me I read this years ago. Probably junior high or high school. Can’t say I remember much, except thinking this guy was a badass... and being interested because my dad was a decorated navigator who served in multiple wars, then died of a heart attack at 43.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good read. Chuck Yeager was one of my heroes when I was growing up. Too bad I'm 30 years behind in my reading. I would have enjoyed this book even more when Chuck was alive. We need more Americans like Chuck Yeager.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Loved the sincerity from General Yeager and I enjoyed reading the commentary from various other people in his life. An inspirational, interesting, and unique life he led, definitely worth the read.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
There is no doubt that Chuck Yeager was a brave, and extremely talented pilot. He was full of a can do attitude and did not let obstacles get in his way. For that I admire him. What disappointed me was the life of debauchery that he and some of his fellow pilots engaged in when off duty.
Barry Higgins
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a book, i couldn't put down!
I first saw mention of Chuck Yeager, in the film 'The Right Stuff'. He's the one portrayed by Sam Shepard, who's the first pilot to break the 'Sound Barrier' in 1947.
Must admit i was intrigued, to see if what happened in the film was true. You know how filmakers, can twist the facts. So i looked if there was an auto-biography. I don't usually read auto-biographies, but with this one, i'm glad i did.
It tells the story of a boy from West Virginia, who joins t
Afshin Afshar
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
From very humble beginnings to a highly decorated American hero this truly deserving man tells his own life story in such an unassuming manner that it actually undermines his lifetime of accomplishments. Reading his story one is amazed that he has lived long enough to tell his own story.
Igor Brezovic
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jose A Miranda
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent autobiography of an American hero.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great American. Fun read. Some great life lessons and leadership advice.
Searching in the Forest
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How the Hell can you not like hearing about Chuck Yeager? M'god, that's the reason he's called Chuck Yeager.
Will Coakley
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy s***, talk about the right stuff! Great book wonderful man Unbelievable Truth Is Better Than Fiction must read!
Kelley Johnson
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highlights the life of an amazing man.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stunning and fascinating book, what a guy!
Ricky Husk
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My fav book, fight me.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A real maverick...
Mary Mcqueen
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, history
A fantastic first person read.
Nicholas Bobbitt
Cool stories, but Yeager's not the best at telling them.
Thomas Myers
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gotta admire the chutzpa of someone who admits to stealing food in the first 10 pages - it was depression era.

A great tale of Yeager's life work from his fight in the Second World War to his groundbreaking achievement in the Bell X-1.

He has truly led a life of adventure, and although I would have liked to have read a little more about his fighter operations in the European theatre, nothing really detracts from the story.

The days of grandstanding flight are over, so it is great to revisit those
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Brigadier General Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager, USAF.

Veteran of WWII and the Vietnam War. Achieved "ace" status during WWII, and post-war became the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

His decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Pres