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Rise of the Fighter Generals:

The Problem of Air Force Leadership (1945-1982)

Mike Worden
1998, 291 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58566-048-3
Cost: $18, AU Press Code: B-51

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Colonel Worden relies on oral histories, personal interviews, military and social histories, quantitative data, and sociological research to show how fighter generals rose to domination in the Air Force. From its inception through the 1960s, the Air Force was dominated by bomber pilots. Embracing an absolutist perspective, bomber pilots struggled to maintain their dominance. In the 1960s, however, they saw their positions of leadership slowly yielding to the experience, broader education, and pragmatism of fighter pilots. This study terminates in 1982 when the leadership changes with the selection of a string of generals with fighter backgrounds as Air Force chiefs of staff.

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