Duty, hero­ism and a crack­ing good story

De­vo­tion by Adam Makos www.at­lantic-books.co.uk £8.99. Pa­per­back, 445 pages, black & white il­lus­tra­tions

Pilot - - BOOKS & GEAR -

Au­thor Adam Makos’s introducti­on states that he wanted to make the di­a­logue in the book real, rather than imag­ined, so he in­ter­viewed as many of the ‘char­ac­ters’ who ap­pear in this book — or their fam­i­lies — as pos­si­ble. In this re­spect, he’s done a good job and the story moves fast, flow­ing like a novel but car­ry­ing all the more im­pact for be­ing true to life.

The idea for the book came af­ter the au­thor heard F4U Cor­sair fighter pi­lot Cap­tain Tom Hud­son speak about his fly­ing role in the Korean War, but it’s more than just an avi­a­tion tale. The book also cov­ers the ex­pe­ri­ences of the men on the ground, who looked to the skies to help them fight off the en­emy. And it was of­ten quite con­fus­ing as to who their en­emy was, given that var­i­ous coun­tries took part in the con­flict overtly but there were also those who pub­licly de­nied their sup­port or par­tic­i­pa­tion.

As well as giv­ing this reader a much greater in­sight into the Korean War, the book tells the story of the first black naval car­rier pi­lot, En­sign Jesse Brown, who served along­side Tom Hud­son. The son of a share­crop­per from Mis­sis­sippi, at that time Jesse could serve his coun­try but not be served in a bar in seg­re­gated Amer­ica. The story of Jesse, Tom, the other pilots and marines is wo­ven to­gether well and there is ad­di­tional ma­te­rial, fol­low­ing up what hap­pened to some of them af­ter the war. It also cov­ers Tom’s trip back to North Korea in 2013 to try to find… ah, but that would be spoil­ing the story! JA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.