Raised in a Florida ghetto, youngest of 17 children, ``Chappie'' James (1920-1978) became one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, took part in the struggle of black officers for racial equality in the Army Air Corps, flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam, served as Air Force PR chief during the height of the anti-war protests, and concluded a brilliant career as a four-star general in charge of the North American Air Defense Command. Phelps captures the effervescent personality of this outspoken, headstrong, irreverent and mischievous man. An ardent patriot, he spoke out against institutional racism at every opportunity. Phelps provides a dramatic and moving account of one of James's most difficult--and successful--assignments: touring the nation's campuses during the latter years of the Vietnam era attempting to sway public opinion in favor of the military. By the author of On Being Black in America, this inspiring biography of an American hero reveals much about the years of segregation in the armed forces. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991 Release date: 01/01/1991 Genre: Nonfiction
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