Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography

Benjamin O. Davis, Author
Benjamin O. Davis, Author Smithsonian Books $29.95 (442p) ISBN 978-0-87474-742-3
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Davis, the first black graduate of West Point in this century, led the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron in WW II, commanded the integrated 51st Fighter Wing in Korea and the 13th Air Force during the Vietnam war. Retiring from the Air Force in 1970 as a three-star general, he served in a number of civilian posts, including director of public safety for the city of Cleveland and assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Davis enjoyed an almost unbroken string of successes in his military and civilian careers, the only major exception being a municipal job in Cleveland from which he resigned for political reasons. What lends the autobiography historical significance is Davis's account of the struggle to gain professional recognition not only for himself but for all black servicemen in the face of segregation, institutional racial prejudice and local bigotry. A revealing look at race relations from the point of view of a gifted, uncompromising military man. Photos. (Feb.)
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