Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War

Joe Hyams, Author, Joseph Hyams, Author, Claire Wachtel, Editor
Joe Hyams, Author, Joseph Hyams, Author, Claire Wachtel, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $16.95 (178p) ISBN 978-0-15-131469-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 239 pages - 978-0-425-13466-5
Paperback - 978-0-425-13540-2
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Hyams ( Zen in the Martial Arts ) recounts Bush's experiences as a WW II Navy pilot and provides the first detailed account of his heroism on September 2, 1944, when he carried out a dive-bombing mission over Chichi Jima Island after his Grumman Avenger was set afire by anti-aircraft shells. This makes for absorbing reading, especially the description of the race to rescue Bush as the tide drew his raft closer to the island. Hyams has uncovered documentary evidence in Japan indicating that Bush would have been tortured and executed on Chichi Jima had he been captured that day. There is another element to the book that is different in character and unexpected: With the cooperation of President Bush and the First Lady, Hyams reconstructs the story of their wartime romance, secret engagement and marriage on January 6, 1945. They met in 1941 when George was 17 and Barbara was 16. ``She radiated joy and warmth,'' recalls the President. Mrs. Bush says of her husband: ``He was the most attractive man. . . . I could hardly breathe when he was in the room.'' (Mar.)
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