Publisher: Little Brown
Weight: 420 g
Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists had a different view. This "Bomber Mafia" asked: What if precision bombing could, just by taking out critical choke points - industrial or transportation hubs - cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal? In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell delves deep into questions of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war.
Page-turning account of the psyche that gripped an erstwhile overlooked arm of the American defence machine, and the human compassion that actually - surprisingly - went into what later derailed into an atrocity against mankind.
The Bomber Mafia (US)
42nd book reviews to date and 17th to be recorded during MCO. The title is The Bomber Mafia(ISBN: 9780316309301, Publisher: Little, Brown and Company) authored by Malcolm Gladwell in 2021.
This will be the 7th book produced by the author and this is quite a fascination of the author on war stories that has been his obsession from very young age. Almost all his books will have a portion of story that relates to war and how does it relates to human side of the story for each event.
Nonetheless, let me autopsy the book now:
1) The book was written about one of the grandest obsession of the 20th century. The idea that someone could push away all the concerns and details that make up everyday life and just zero in the thing that fits the countours of his or her imagination.
2) The Bomber Mafia is a case study in how dreams go awry. And how shiny idea drops down from the heavens, it does not land, softly, in our laps. It is the story of a Dutch genious and his homemade computer. A band of brothers in central Alabama. A British psychopath. Pyromaniacal chemists in a basement labs at Harvard. It’s story about the messiness of our intention, because we always forget the mess when we look back.
3) The leaders of the Air Corps Tactical School were labeled “the Bomber Mafia.” These were the days of Al Capone and Lucky Luciano and shoot-outs on the streets. But the Air Corps faculty thought the outcast labe quite suited them. And it stuck.
4) The Bomber Mafia qa never very large. It was a dozen men at most, all living within walking distance of one another on those quiet, shaded streets at Maxwell Field. During its 20 years of operation, it produced just over a thousand graduates. Had the 2nd World War never happened, it is entirely possible that the theories and dreams of this little group would have faded into history.
5) Curtis LeMay put the bomb-damage photos of Schweinfurt and Regensburg in the foyer of his house because he wanted to remind himslef everyday of how many of his men were lost in the course of what he considered a fruitless mission. It would be much better if Curtis LeMay had also hung the strike photos from the firebombing of Tokyo - to remind himself, everyday, of what was lost in the course of what he considered his most successful mission.
6) There is a set of moral problems that can be resolved only with the application of conscience and will. Those are the hardest kinds of problems. But there are other problems that can be resolved with the application of human ingenuity. The genius of the Bomber Mafia was to understand that distinction - and to say, We don’t have to slaughter the innocent, burn them beyond recognition, in pursuit of our military goals. We can do better. And they were right.
Certainly the author encapsulate the human factor on a bunch of war motivated individuals, for every decision making and strategy there are always human factor in consideration. I might be reading this book at the moment when there is a burning atmosphere about war on human but I believe that it always linger about whether are we sefish and heartless in taking our action.
Done with Malcom Gladwell for now, till then, stay safe, stay vigilant, stay healthy……
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