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Reflections of a Technocrat:

Managing Defense, Air, and Space Programs during the Cold War

Dr. John L. McLucas with Kenneth J. Alnwick and Lawrence R. Benson
2006, 390 pages
ISBN: 1-58566-156-2
Cost: $33, AU Press Code: B-101



In documenting his wide-ranging career in science and technology, Dr. McLucas offers new information and insights on the history of key private-sector and government agencies during the Cold War era—most prominently, the US Air Force. After naval service in World War II, he began a long affiliation with the Air Force as a civilian engineer and Air National Guard officer. He continued this affiliation as president of both a pioneering high-tech company and the Air Force-sponsored MITRE Corporation. He also worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and became NATO’s top scientific officer. His contributions to the Air Force culminated with service as its undersecretary and secretary in the challenging and transforming period from 1969 through 1975, during which time he also directed the national Reconnaissance Office. Dr. McLucas’s insider’s account of those years divulges details about Pentagon politics, coping with the Vietnam War, developing new aircraft and other systems, and expanding equal opportunities for minorities and women. After next heading the Federal Aviation Administration, he became an executive in the Communications Satellite Corporation. Following retirement, he remained an active and influential proponent of science and technology, especially in space. The coauthors completed this book after Dr. McLucas’s death in December 2002.


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