Why did I love this book?
The story of Claire Lee Chennault is the story of American involvement in China’s air war against Japan, 1937-1945, and Martha Byrd’s 1989 work is the definitive Chennault biography. First as an advisor to Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, then commander of the legendary American Volunteer Group – the “Flying Tigers” – and ultimately in command of the U.S. 14th Air Force, Chennault was the driving force behind Allied efforts to push the Japanese invaders out of China during World War II. While numerous other authors have described Chennault in fawning, simplistic terms, Byrd did the deep research needed to bring out the contrasts in the character and personality to this complex man. The result is an inciteful, highly readable account of the life of a true American hero.