Air Power – review by Robert S. Ehlers, Jr

Air Power – review by Robert S. Ehlers, Jr

Jeremy Black. Air Power: A Global History. London and Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016. Pp. 386. Softcover $38.00.

Reviewed by Robert S. Ehlers, Jr.

Writing a concise and effective history of airpower from its inception more than a century ago to the present is something of a challenge, but Jeremy Black has pulled it off quite nicely in his new book, Airpower: A Global History. It is an excellent general history of airpower and an indispensable work for anyone who has anything to do with the employment of air assets. A range of audiences, from policymakers, to military personnel, to students of military history, should read it. The author uses a chronological approach within which he embeds major airpower-related themes. Black makes four assertions at the outset, all of which are generally accurate: that existing airpower literature has limitations in terms of assessing the interrelationships between policy and military aspects of the air weapon’s use; that it focuses too heavily on the leading air powers; that most of the works written to date are for specialists; and that there has been a tendency among airpower historians to overrate its importance more than army historians underrate it. If the latter assertion is debatable, the others are not, and so Black gives readers a book that seeks to counteract the problems he discerns in existing works on airpower.

Read the full review in US Military History Review, Volume 3, Number 1 – December 2016

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