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The Bomber Mafia

Malcolm Gladwell

The Bomber Mafia

by Malcolm Gladwell

The Bomber Mafia

Malcolm Gladwell

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

In this book, renowned author Malcolm Gladwell examines a group of innovative military strategists who sought to make war less lethal through aerial precision bombing.

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The Bomber Mafia

by Malcolm Gladwell

The Bomber Mafia

Malcolm Gladwell

Overview

The Bomber Mafia was made up of a mere dozen men. The group was based in the Air Force Tactical School in Maxwell Field, Alabama. The Bomber Mafia believed what separated them from the Army and the Navy was their singular focus on innovation over heritage and tradition. Their motto was 'We make progress unhindered by custom.'

The Bomber Mafia believed that through precision bombing we could speed up wars and reduce their death toll, by targeting choke points that could cripple an entire army. Their plans were strictly theoretical - until the summer of 1941 when it became clear the United States would soon be at war with Germany.

Following a Dutch genius, a band of brothers out of central Alabama, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard, journalist, author, and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell explores the moral gray areas of fighting a 'better' war as a way to shorten war.

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Favorite Quote

"When some new, shiny idea drops down from the heavens, it does not land, softly, in our laps. It lands hard, on the ground, and shatters."

Malcolm Gladwell

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The Bomber Mafia

Malcolm Gladwell

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