book cover of A Time of War

A Time of War

Air Force Diaries And Pentagon Memos, 1943-45
A non fiction book by

Novelist James Gould Cozzens has left a rich record of official documents and memoirs in this work, which originated in his three years of WWII military service as a USAAF officer. He was "there at the making" of several important decisions and policies, including the disposal of unwanted P-39 and P-63 aircraft to the USSR, (and other matters involving that ally, including his tongue in cheek comment in a secret document that the provision of B-29s to the USSR might be inimical to future US national interest...) race relations, problems facing woman service members, discipline, service racketeering, the true story of what went on in Colin Kelly's B-17, and many other bits of then-classified information, provided in the rich and humorous context of a skilled observer's diary. Cozzen's broad knowledge of many professional fields and deep understanding of the motivations and behavior of men and women and the organizations they comprise really fleshes out the record. This is social history examined by one in a macro position; he traveled so broadly to so many troublespots and was so curious as to have compiled a record from the "bottom up" and the "top down" simultaneously. This is a fine book of great use to historians interested in the social and institutional history of the USA at global war, with its all too human everyday problems. Also rich in documentary material (nmostly classified 'secret') about various aircraft and opeerational problems. The B-29, B-32 and early jet programs (P-80) are discussed. The work could benefit from a subject and/or name index.

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Hardback Editions

October 1984 : USA Hardback

Title: A Time of War: Air Force Diaries and Pentagon Memos, 1943-45
Author(s): James Gould Cozzens
ISBN: 0-89723-043-4 / 978-0-89723-043-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bruccoli-Clark Layman
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