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Hardcover The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour Book

ISBN: 0399154965

ISBN13: 9780399154966

The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour

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Book Overview

In the tradition of the great narrative storytellers, Andrei Cherny recounts the exhilarating saga of the unlikely men who made the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Excellent book!

My mother was in the hospital having me when the Chicago Tribune posted the 'Truman Won' headline so I had to read this book. This book is well written and a page turner and if you enjoy reading about WWII history you will enjoy this book.

This is more than a good read on the history of the Berlin Blockade. It's also a good story about the first test of the New U S Air Force and one of its unsung leaders. General William Tunner. The Airlift would not have been successful without his leadership and knowledge of what it takes to make a successful airlift.

A fantastically written history of a critical moment

I have to admit I am not a "history buff" and generally choose novels for my summer reading. Moreover, I somehow never once got to the end of World war II in any of the history classes in my 22 years of education, so this book was not a natural pick for me. But The Candy Bombers felt like a novel, it was so dramatically told and wonderfully written. As others point out, this book is about an event that gains more and more relevance to contemporary events every day, as we debate how to move forward in the "war on terror," as we take more and more prisoners in this "war," and as natural catastrophes devastate countries in distant lands. The question of how to treat a defeated enemy, even one so horrifically evil as Nazi Germany, is profoundly moral. How we answer it in many ways defines who we are as a nation. Mr. Cherny notes in his blog that all four of his grandparents were concentration camp survivors, and that he had struggle with this question as wrote his account of the airlift. The result of his struggle is an extremely impressive and visionary book.

An uplifting, well-told analysis

-Just wanted to add another well-deserved five-star review for this book. I have just finished it and didn't want it to end, but was cheered to have read it. -Candy Bombers describes how the Berlin Airlift not only became a strategic victory for democratic ideals, but a positive and uplifting victory for the human spirit. Cherny begins by describing the events preceding the Airlift, including the almost unspeakable devastation and hopeless forecast for recovery in Germany at the time. The War largely destroyed Berlin, rebuilding was painfully slow, and not only did the Germans and the Allies despise each other but by 1948 the distrust between the Western and Soviet allies allies threatened to bring another major conflict to the area. That year, the Soviets blockaded the land routes to Berlin, and Cherny then rivetingly describes how the airlift became "THE Airlift" -- how it grew from a chaotic makeshift, ridiculous patchwork effort into one of the most efficient resupply efforts the world has ever seen. This did not have to happen -- indeed, few people even though it could be successful and the nay-sayers were won over only slowly. This development was itself an act of kindness and persistence. Along the way, Cherny describes how the Airlift helped show Germans and the Western Allies that yes, they actually did care for each other and were both willing to sacrifice deeply for democracy and community. This beautiful transformation was hastened by a kind-hearted pilot who decided to drop pieces of candy to some hungry and kindness-needing kids along his flight path (candy was amazingly scarce after the war, and was happily received). No matter what your political views, this story is amazing -- how a simple but persistent act of decency can transform the spirits of innocent children and can set the conditions for a similar transformation in adults. Compassion is the source for hope, and its exercise can make one proud to be human. Cherny then describes how the Airlift invigorated Western foreign policy and how the Soviets never again succeeded in gaining another inch of territory in Europe. Indeed, it was a singular peak for democracy, before the Russians exploded an atom bomb, the Korean stalemate began, and materialism became a dominant factor in American culture. -The author writes exceptionally well -- this was a most interesting and well-coordinated tale, with excellent (if not always archival) documentation and internal consistency. I am sure someone will point out an inaccuracy here and there, but this book succeeds at its purpose and I would place it among the upper echelon of uplifting, well-told books I can remember reading. The book combined the right elements of realism and idealism, and made me prouder to be a human being. -The author is a journal editor, former White House speechwriter, and senior research fellow. - I hope this helps and hope you will enjoy this wonderful book about a uniquely wonderful episode in wor

Inspiring and timely

Cherny captures an inspiring and highly relevant tale for our time beautifully. If you enjoy reading David McCullough, you'll enjoy reading Andrei Cherny. The author brings this critical tale of winning hearts and minds to life in vivid engaging detail. The highest praise for this book and for its author is that at the end of it you're left with a sense of awe and longing; awe at how well this book captures one of this nation's finest hours on the international stage and longing in that you'll wish the lessons from the cold war were being applied today.

I feel like I was there

Andrei Cherny's new book shares such amazing and vivid details about historic events that you'll feel like you've been transported in time as you turn the pages and it all unfolds before you. Every student of history -- and of life -- should read this book. It will no doubt be heralded by book critics and historians alike because it is important, compelling and a great read!

Great story, illuminating history, extremely well written!

I just picked this book up and once I started reading I could not put it down. The book is fascinating and covers a critical but now mostly forgotten turning point in world history. One aspect of the book I found most interesting was how the blockade of Berlin impacted the direction of Truman's presidency and changed the direction of U.S. policy to halt Soviet expansionism. It seems clear now that had there been no blockade and no airlift, Truman's winning a second term would have been highly unlikely. My only complaint is the choice of title. It's not the first book about the airlift using 'Candy Bombers' in the title. But really, why quibble. This is much more than a book about nice guy pilots, 'The Candy Bombers', throwing chocolate from their planes as they flew into Berlin (though a heart-warming story it was). I hope we will be seeing more books from Mr. Cherny in the not too distant future. He is the same caliber of writer and historian as David McCullough, Douglas Brinkley and the formidable Stephen Ambrose
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