Barrett Tillman

Book cover image

Narrated By: Tom Weiner

Duration: 6 hours and 1 minute

What to expect

Packed with breathtaking air battles and ground tactics, this new addition to the Great Generals Series features the controversial command and strategies of the former Air Force Chief of Staff.

Curtis LeMay was a terrifying, complex, and brilliant general. In World War II, he ordered the firebombing of Tokyo and was in charge when atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. He was responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths, a fact he liked to celebrate by smoking Cuban cigars.

But LeMay was also the man who single-handedly transformed the American Air Force from poorly trained and badly equipped pilots into one of the fiercest weapons of the war. Over the last decades, most US military missions were carried out entirely through use of the Air Force. This is LeMay’s legacy.


Biography: historical, political and military, True war and combat stories, Second World War, Military history, Air forces and warfare, Military history, History of the Americas

Listen to a sample

“A brilliant book! Barrett Tillman describes the true magnitude of LeMay’s achievements, while rendering the first posthumous biography of a complex, controversial figure. Objective and beautifully written…an absolute must for every aviation or military historian and for anyone interested in leadership.”

Walter J. Boyne, author of Roaring Thunder and former director of the National Air and Space Museum

“Mr. Tillman finds much to admire in LeMay, a general who led his own bomber missions and was more familiar with flying equipment than his own men.”

New York Sun

“Thorough, balanced, and insightful, Barrett Tillman’s masterful biography of Curtis LeMay is a long-overdue and thought-provoking study, one certain to become a standard.”

Dr. Richard P. Hallion, aviation historian and author of Taking Flight: Inventing the Aerial Age from Antiquity through the First World War

“Curtis E. LeMay…was far more complex than his detractors claim. Barrett Tillman, one of America’s top history writers, gives us an authentic feel for LeMay and for the way LeMay left his mark on the twentieth century.”