The Millionaires' Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Airpower

Marc Wortman, Author PublicAffairs $26 (313p) ISBN 978-1-58648-328-9
Nostalgia permeates this romantic account of how U.S. air power was established in WWI by a privileged, patriotic group of undergraduates known as the Yale Flying Club. The book was developed from an article published in the Yale Alumni Magazine, and it shows: Wortman harkens back to a bygone era when campus regattas were the place to be seen, Harvard-Yale football games drew crowds 80,000 strong and, perhaps most jarringly, American isolationism placed the country's air command not just behind Germany's fearsome air service, but behind British and French forces as well. Preparing themselves for fire fights and bombing missions that generated harrowing casualty figures, these wealthy, elite Yale students saw it as their responsibility to fight on the front lines, and in the first wave. In a brief but important epilogue, Wortman spells out just how profoundly the times, and in particular the Yale campus, has changed in the past 90 years. Though times have indeed changed, and not entirely for the better, Wortman's creeping nostalgia serves to make attractive a history littered with inconvenient details; how readers react to this viewpoint-especially with regard to the compare-and-contrast epilogue-will largely determine their opinion of the book.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60640-871-1
Hardcover - 313 pages - 978-1-4050-5384-6
Paperback - 313 pages - 978-0-330-44017-2
Open Ebook - 353 pages - 978-1-58648-544-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4416-0381-4
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-230-76856-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3250-8
Paperback - 313 pages - 978-1-58648-444-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0250-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5250-6
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!