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Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

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Titel: Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
Autor/en: Benjamin O., Jr. Davis

ISBN: 1560983957
EAN: 9781560983958
54 b&w photographs.
Sprache: Englisch.
Smithsonian Books

17. Januar 2000 - kartoniert - 456 Seiten

Set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America, against the social fabric of segregation and the broad canvas of foreign war, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: American tells a compelling story of personal achievement against formidable odds. Born into an era when potential was measured according to race, Davis was determined to be judged by his character and deeds-to succeed as an American, and not to fail because of color.

With twelve million citizens -the black population of the United States-pulling for him, Davis entered West Point in 1932, resolved to become an officer even though official military directives stated that blacks were decidedly inferior, lacking in courage, superstitious, and dominated by moral and character weaknesses. "Silenced" by his peers, for four years spoken to only in the line of duty, David did not falter. He graduated 35th in a class of 276 and requested assignment to the Army Air Corps, then closed to blacks.

He went on to lead the 99th Pursuit Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group-units known today as the Tuskegee Airmen-into air combat over North Africa and Italy during World War II. His performance, and that of his men, enabled the Air Force to integrate years before civilian society confronted segregation. Thereafter, in a distinguished career in the Far East, Europe, and the United States, Davis commanded both black and white units.

Davis's story is interwoven with often painful accounts of the discrimination he and his wife, Agatha, endured as a fact of American military and civilian life. Traveling across the country, unable to find food and lodging, they were often forced to make their way nonstop. Once on base, they were denied use of clubs and, in the early days, were never allowed to attend social activities. Though on-base problems were solved by President Truman's integration of the military in 1949, conditions in the civilian community continued, eased but not erased by enactment of President Johnson's legislative program in the 1960s. Overseas, however, where relations were unfettered by racism, the Davises enjoyed numerous friendships within the military and with such foreign dignitaries as President and Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., retired in 1970 as a three-star general. His autobiography, capturing the fortitude and spirit with which he and his wife met the pettiness of segregation, bears out Davis's conviction that discrimination-both within the military and in American society-reflects neither this nation's ideals nor the best use of its human resources.
Chapter 1 1. First Flight Chapter 2 2. Silence Chapter 3 3. The Real World Chapter 4 4. The Experiment Chapter 5 5. Under Fire Chapter 6 6. The Red Tails Chapter 7 7. Integration Chapter 8 8. Indoctrination Chapter 9 9. Respect Chapter 10 10. Citizens of te World Chapter 11 11. Little America Chapter 12 12. Manpower Chapter 13 13. Affairs of State Chapter 14 14. Courtesy Chapter 15 15. Strike Command Chapter 16 16. Politics Chapter 17 17. Piracy Chapter 18 18. Transportation Chapter 19 19. Mr. 55 Chapter 20 20. Free Time Chapter 21 21. West Point Revisited
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., began his military career in 1936. He was awarded many medals for his service, including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Croix de Guerre, and three Distinguished Service Medals, Army and Air Force. After retiring from the Air Force in 1970 with three stars, he held several government posts. In 1998 he was awarded an honorary promotion to the rank of four-star general.
By any standards, this is a fine autobiography ... must reading for anyone interested in race relations or American military history. Review Of Higher Education This moving autobiography, written with understated passion and without rancor, describes the appalling ostracism the author endured as a cadet and young officer and the positive changes after World War II that opened opportunity to all officers... Foreign Affairs This book provides valuable insight on many levels. It is military history, aviation history, and a chapter in the history of science and technology. It is also a poignant essay on social changes full of vivid recollections of human courage and tragedy. In the final analysis, this is the story of a military pilot who led his men and his country on one of the greatest 'freedom rides' of all time. In Flight A revealing look at race relations from the point of view of a gifted, uncompromising military man. Publishers Weekly Highly recommended. School Library Journal In his autobiography, [Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.,] breaks the silence he maintained while in uniform... His personal story should come as a revelation to many who may not be fully aware of the long history of prejudice in all the military branches. [The book] illustrates the life of a genuine hero. The New York Times Davis, a man of much dignity and reserve, has not written a kiss-and-tell book. He provides personal experience with discretion... A solid autobiography. Aerospace Power Journal
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