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The Bomber Mafia : a dream, a temptation, and the longest night of the second World War  Cover Image Book Book

The Bomber Mafia : a dream, a temptation, and the longest night of the second World War / Malcolm Gladwell.


"Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history. 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 his podcast, Revisionist History, Gladwell re-examines moments from the past and asks whether we got it right the first time. In The Bomber Mafia, he steps back from the bombing of Tokyo, the deadliest night of the war, and asks, "Was it worth it?" The attack was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared more by averting a planned US invasion. Things might have gone differently had LeMay's predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. As a key member of the Bomber Mafia, Haywood's theories of precision bombing had been foiled by bad weather, enemy jet fighters, and human error. When he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war." -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316296618
  • ISBN: 0316296619
  • Physical Description: xiv, 240 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-231) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction: "This isn't working. You're out." -- Part one: The dream. "Mr. Norden was content to pass his time in the shop." ; "We make progress unhindered by custom." ; "He was lacking in the bond of human sympathy." ; "The truest of the true believers." ; "General Hansell was aghast" -- Part two: The temptation. "It would be suicide, boys, suicide." ; "If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." ; "It's all ashes--all that and that and that." ; "Improvised destruction." -- Conclusion: "All of a sudden the Air House would be gone. Poof."
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 > Aerial operations.
World War, 1939-1945 > Japan > Aerial operations.
Bombing, Aerial > Japan > History > 20th century.
Aeronautics, Military > History.
Precision bombing > History.
Bombing, Aerial.
Military operations, Aerial > American.
Genre: History.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 940.54 GLA (Text) 000160737 Nonfiction Available -

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