A History of the American People by ProQuest


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									                                                                                    Book Reviews

of transformation and the Army’s structural              pression Was So Deep and Long-Lasting.” One
metamorphoses. Transformation is exceedingly             enjoyable feature of the book is the author’s inter-
complicated in concept and exponentially more            spersed biographical sketches of notable Ameri-
complex in execution, a fact ultimately proven           cans such as Benjamin Franklin, Henry Clay,
on the battlefield. This book’s greatest advantage       Jefferson Davis, and Andrew Carnegie.
for American Airmen is its ability to reflect                In addition to explaining significant historical
evenhanded analysis of the evolution of Air              events such as the Louisiana Purchase and the
Force and Army transformation—ultimately                 Battle of Gettysburg, Johnson discusses trends
pointing to the future. Although the benefits of         that shaped the development of the country.
technology are used every day in American                American immigration and birth rates in the
combat operations, Adams concludes that the              early nineteenth century surpassed all historical
unrealized vision of Army leaders was too far            precedent. The population and economy were
reaching and costly to implement.                        able to grow since land was easily available to
                                                         anyone who would farm it. Johnson asserts that
                       Capt Daniel Magruder, USAF        “in the entire history of the United States, the
                               Hurlburt Field, Florida   land-purchase system was the single most be-
                                                         nevolent act of government” (p. 290).
                                                             Aviation makes several appearances in the
                                                         book: the Wright brothers setting up the coun-
A History of the American People by Paul M.              try’s first public company (p. 623); Gen Jimmy
  Johnson. HarperCollins Publishers (http://             Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo (p. 799); the dropping
  www.harpercollins.com), 10 East 53d Street,            of the atomic bomb from Col Paul Tibbets’s B-29
  New York, New York 10022, 1999, 1,104 pages,           Enola Gay (p. 803); the Berlin airlift, which pro-
  $20.00 (trade paperback).                              vided “Stalin, and the whole world, with an awe-
                                                         some demonstration of American airpower” (p.
    Since the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville            814); and two quotations from Gen Curtis LeMay,
first cast a curious eye on the American conti-          who asserted that Vietnam could be “bombed
nent in 1831, the United States has been an open         back into the Stone Age” (p. 881).
book to the world, its successes and failures                Beginning with the New Deal era (circa 1933),
made known to all. Once again, a European has            the book takes a decidedly partisan tone as John-
reached across the Atlantic to examine the               son makes no attempt to disguise his own con-
American people. The renowned British histo-             servative political perspective. Considering the
rian Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times: The           limited number of pages allotted to the civil
World from the Twenties to the Eighties (1983) and       rights movement, the author spends dispropor-
A History of the Jews (1987), has compiled A His-        tionate effort in criticizing affirmative action and
tory of the American People, an ambitious one-           sympathetically explaining President Nixon’s
volume text of American history.                    
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