Boyd by Robert Coram


By Robert Coram

  • Publication Date: 2002-11-21
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 51 Ratings)

Book Summary

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty 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. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 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. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt. Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come. ..

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Book Opinions

  • An American hero who deserves greater recognition

    By Tsuliman
    This book paints a vivid picture of a great mind and character. If you're interested in strategy, science, or military history, definitely read this book.
  • Boyd

    By PL2291
    I've read many books about military figures to include "Viper Pilot" "Fighter Pilot" and all of Luttrells books.. This book is the best book for any young military member when reflecting on your potential career. "To be or to do" should be pondered on who you're going to become.
  • Good peoples did so many things for this country

    By Buzz Tw
    This is a good book to let me know these great people's did so many for this country, without being well known. Respect and gratitude to these great fighters!
  • Wow!

    By ElDiabloDeLosAves
    I read, a lot. I can’t remember how I stumbled across this one, but I am sure glad I did. This book is, in my humble opinion, one of the Great Books of our time, and Boyd was certainly a giant, a little known giant, of intellect, honor, and guts. This isn’t a ‘battle stories’ book, though there are some good ones in here, this is a book about intellect, and the guts to carry an idea to it’s conclusion. Boyd’s legacy lives on, in battles won, in lives of our warriors saved. If it’s not, this should be required reading for our officer corps in all services. Stunning.
  • Should be required reading...

    By mergedplot
    At SOS, OTS, ASBC, etc, etc. The AF would do well to go back to the John Boyd School of Warfighting and as important, preparation for war. We are too concerned with useless master's degrees, ensuring everyone feels the same in their ugly green boots (who thought THAT was going to look good) and volunteer hours. We need to return to the business of where we once were, when Boyd put his mark on the AF. Enjoy the read.
  • Figures

    By Fred Grimley
    This is a MUST READ for anybody that cares about the modern state of our armed forces and wants to know why they are in a state of disarray. Why we pay more for junk like the F-22 (good for airshows, Transformer movies, NORAD CAP missions) and the upcoming F-35 (problems getting worse by the day), but get less bang for the buck. He showed the airforce how to do things the right way, and he was shunned. He showed the Marines how to win wars efficiently, and they loved him for it. The real shame is that you can go up and ask any airforce member who COL John Boyd was and most have NO IDEA who you are talking about. No wonder the airforce gets made fun of as "the chair force". Buncha bureaucrats masquerading as military.
  • Boyd Rocks

    By PatchSpear
    A fighter pilot's fighter pilot. How the Air Force should be! A must read for all junior officers and zipper-suited sun gods.