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Yeager: An Autobiography
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General Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot of them all -- the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound . . .the World War II flying ace who shot down a Messerschmitt jet with a prop-driven P-51 Mustang . . .the hero who defined a certain quality that all hotshot fly-boys of the postwar era aimed to achieve: the right stuff.


Now Chuck Yeager tells his whole incredible life story with the same "wide-open, full throttle" approach that has marked his astonishing career. What it was really like enaging in do-or-die dogfights over Nazi Europe. How after being shot over occupied France, Yeager somehow managed to escape. The amazing behind-the-scenes story of smashing the sound barrier despite cracked ribs from a riding accident days before.


The entire story is here, in Yeager's own words, and in wondeful insights from his wife and those friends and colleagues who have known him best. It is the personal and public story of a man who settled for nothing less than excellence, a one-of-a-kind portrait of a true American hero.

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Chuck Yeager is a true American hero. The greatest test pilot of them all, he was a World War II flying ace and the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound.

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People who know nothing else about aviation know that it was Chuck Yeager who broke the sound barrier. Those who have read Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff also know he did it with broken ribs from a nocturnal horse race. Readers of this engrossing work will find these circumstances typical of the way Yeager has always done things. In matter-of-fact language that covers both suspenseful flying descriptions and high times with drunken flying buddies, Yeager holds one's attention with the same ease that he brought to research and test flying. There is understatement in his descriptions of combat flying over Europe, of family life and his displeasure over having to be gone so long, of the years in the California desert; and his confident tone enhances these and other reminiscences in what has to be the aviation literature event of the year, and a bonus for general readers, too. BOMC main selection. Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.

YA Bona fide heroes are a rare breed, and while Chuck Yeager would be the first to deny he was one, his life story tells a different tale. Here he describes his early life in the hills of West Virginia; his years as fighter pilot in World War II, where he was shot down in occupied France and escaped with the help of the French Resistance; his love of flying. His coolness under pressure; his knowledge of how everything on his plane worked; and his extraordinary luck saved his life in many instances. Brash, opinionated, stubborn and given to wild antics, Yeager also comes across as a man of integrity and courage. Yeager both lived and made aviation history. He tells his story vividly and pulls no punches in describing the events and the people who made history with him. Diana Hirsch, PGCMLS, Md.

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