Chappie, America's First Black Four-Star General: The Life and Times of Daniel James, Jr.

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James' inspiring life, from his days as a pioneering Tuskegee airman to the stratosphere of command of NORAD.
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James' inspiring life, from his days as a pioneering Tuskegee airman to the stratosphere of command of NORAD.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Raised in a Florida ghetto, youngest of 17 children, ``Chappie'' James (1920-1978) became one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, took part in the struggle of black officers for racial equality in the Army Air Corps, flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam, served as Air Force PR chief during the height of the anti-war protests, and concluded a brilliant career as a four-star general in charge of the North American Air Defense Command. Phelps captures the effervescent personality of this outspoken, headstrong, irreverent and mischievous man. An ardent patriot, he spoke out against institutional racism at every opportunity. Phelps provides a dramatic and moving account of one of James's most difficult--and successful--assignments: touring the nation's campuses during the latter years of the Vietnam era attempting to sway public opinion in favor of the military. By the author of On Being Black in America, this inspiring biography of an American hero reveals much about the years of segregation in the armed forces. (Jan.)
Library Journal
This popular biography, positive without being adulatory, supplements James McGovern's most academic Black Eagle ( LJ 6/1/85) in describing a man who reached the top of his profession by challenging systems from within. Determined to make a career as an officer, James remained on the fringe of black protest against the segregated Army Air Force of World War II. In the postwar, integrated service, James's flamboyant, outgoing personality attracted notice as did his unusual skills in ground command and personnel management. James's controversial role as spokesman for America's Vietnam policies was consistent with his career pattern. James regarded himself as an Air Force officer who was black, rather than a black Air Force officer. His service responded with a series of increasingly important assignments that made optimal use of James's capacities. General readers as well as informed laypersons and YAs will find this accessible. Recommended for collections on black studies and military affairs. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/90-- D.E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs
School Library Journal
YA-- An extremely well-written presentation of General James's remarkable professional life and warm, close personal relationships with family and friends. He is shown throughout the book as a courageous individual with a strong value system, and as one who not only did battle overseas, but also on the home front by fighting against racial inequalities and for civil rights. This is a well-rounded, full portrait of a proud American that should be a welcome addition to any library wishing to increase its collection of materials for and about minorities and/or the military.-- Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780891414643
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 384
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    Excellent Reading for Today's Black Officer & Enlisted Corp

    I found this book to be extremely well written and informative. However, I feel that a little too much time was spent talking about the Black Officer's being banned from the Officer's Club...almost 150 pages worth. This detracted from General James considerably and was not sufficiently tied into the 'Life and Times' of this great man. I did enjoy the reading (being an Air Force Senior NCO) and sent copies of the book to my father and father-in-law, both of which are retired Air Force Senior NCO's and were in the service during General James' era

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