Book Reviews

From Balloons to Drones is an online scholarly platform that seeks to provide analysis and debate about air power history, theory, and contemporary operations in their broadest sense, including space and cyber power.

From Balloons to Drones publishes regular book reviews that aim to be an accessible collection of  appraisals of recent publications about air power history, theory and practice. The reviews also seek to engage with a broader audience interested in the subject matter.

Published Book Reviews

  1. Axe, David, Drone War Vietnam (Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2021).
  2. Bailey Jr., Richard J., Forsyth Jr., James W., and Yeisley, Mark O. (eds.), Strategy: Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2016).
  3. Barnes, T.D., CIA Station D: Area 51 – The Complete Illustrated History of the CIA’s Station D at Area 51 (Danbury, CT: Begell House, 2021).
  4. Bechthold, Mike, Flying to Victory: Raymond Collishaw and the Western Desert Campaign, 1940-1941 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2017).
  5. Bilstein, Roger E., Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2003).
  6. Blazich Jr., Frank A., An Honorable Place in American Air Power: Civil Air Patrol Coastal Operations, 1942-1943 (Maxwell, AL: Air University Press, 2020).
  7. Bowman, Geoffrey, A Long Voyage to the Moon: The Life of Naval Aviator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans (Lincoln, NE: University Press of Nebraska, 2021).
  8. Burgess, Colin (ed.), Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2010).
  9. Causey, William F., John Houbolt:  The Unsung Hero of the Apollo Moon Landings (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2020).
  10. Clemons, Jack, Safely to Earth: The Men and Women who brought the Astronauts Home (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2018).
  11. Dorn, A. Walter (ed.), Air Power in UN Operations: Wings for Peace (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).
  12. Ehlers Jr., Robert S., The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2015).
  13. Elward, Brad, TOPGUN – The Legacy: The Complete History of TOPGUN and Its Impact on Tactical Aviation (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military, 2021).
  14. Fahrenwald, Ted, Bailout Over Normandy: A Flyboy’s Adventures with the French Resistance and Other Escapades in Occupied France (Philadelphia, PA: Casemate, 2012).
  15. Feast, Sean, A Thunder Bird in Bomber Command: The Wartime Letters and Story of Lionel Anderson, the Man who Inspired a Legend (London: Fighting High Publishing, 2015).
  16. Fino, Steven A., Tiger Check: Automating the US Air Force Fighter Pilot in Air-to-Air Combat, 1950-1980 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017).
  17. Fitzgerald-Black, Alexander, Eagles Over Husky: The Allied Air Forces in the Sicilian Campaign, 14 May to 17 August 1943 (Solihull: Helion & Company, 2018).
  18. French, Francis and Burgess, Colin, In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2007).
  19. Frederickson, Lewis, Armageddon and OKRA: Australia’s Air Operations in the Middle East a Century Apart (Newport, NSW: Big Sky Publishing, 2020).
  20. Golan, John, Lavi: The United States, Israel and the Controversial Fighter Jet (Lincoln NE: Potomac Books, 2016).
  21. Goette, Richard, Sovereignty and Command in Canada-US Continental Air Defence, 1940-1957 (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 2018).
  22. Gray, Peter, The Leadership, Direction and Legitimacy of the RAF Bomber Offensive from Inception to 1945 (London: Continuum, 2012).
  23. Grayson, Kyle, Cultural Politics of Targeted Killing: On Drones, Counter-Insurgency, and Violence (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).
  24. Hansen, James R., Dear Neil Armstrong: Letters to the First Man from All Mankind (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2019).
  25. Haslop, Dennis, Early Naval Air Power: British and German Approaches (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018).
  26. Haun, Phil (ed.), Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2019).
  27. Henning, Lori, Harnessing the Airplane: American and British Cavalry Responses to a New Technology, 1903–1939 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019).
  28. Hickson, Mandy, An Officer, Not a Gentleman: The Inspirational Journey of a Pioneering Female Fighter Pilot (London: Mandy Hickson, 2020).
  29. Higham, Robin, and Harris, Stephen J. (eds.), Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat, Revised and Expanded Edition (Lexington, KT: University Press of Kentucky, 2016).
  30. Johnson-Freese, Joan, Space Warfare in the 21st Century: Arming the Heavens (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017).
  31. Kreuzer, Michael P., Drones and the Future of Air Warfare: The Evolution of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (New York, NY: Routledge, 2016).
  32. Kite, Ben, Through Adversity: Britain and the Commonwealth’s War in the Air 1939-1945 – Volume 1 (Warwick: Helion & Company Limited, 2019).
  33. Lambeth, Benjamin, S., Airpower in the War against ISIS (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2021).
  34. Laslie, Brian D., Architect of Air Power: General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force (Lexington, KT: The University Press of Kentucky, 2017).
  35. Lee, Peter, Reaper Force: Inside Britain’s Drone Wars (London: John Blake Publishing London, 2018).
  36. MacKenzie, S.P., Flying Against Fate: Superstition and Allied Aircrews in World War II (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2017).
  37. McCandless III, Bruce, Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and the First Untethered Flight in Space (Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2021).
  38. Meilinger, Philip S., Limiting Risk in America’s Wars: Airpower, Asymmetrics, and a New Strategic Paradigm (Annapolis: MD, Naval Institute Press, 2017).
  39. Morris, Craig F., The Origins of American Strategic Bombing Theory (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2017).
  40. Morton, Tyler, From Kites to Cold War: The Evolution of Manned Airborne Reconnaissance (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2019).
  41. Napier, Michael, Korean Air War: Sabres, Migs and Meteors, 1950-53 (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2021).
  42. O’Brien, Phillips Payson, How the War Was Won: Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  43. Olsen, John Andreas (ed.), Airpower Applied: U.S., NATO, and Israeli Combat Experience (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2017).
  44. Olsen, John Andreas (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Air Power (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018).
  45. Overy, Richard, The Bombing War: Europe, 1939-1945 (London: Penguin, 2013).
  46. Peck, Jr, Gaillard R., Sherman Lead: Flying the F-4D Phantom II in Vietnam (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2019).
  47. Phillips, Adrian, Rearming the RAF for the Second World War: Poor Strategy and Miscalculation (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2022).
  48. Philpott, Maryam, Air and Sea Power in World War I: Combat and Experience in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013).
  49. Pickering, J.L. and Bisney, John, Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2019).
  50. Pickering, J.L, and Bisney, John, Picturing the Space Shuttle: The Early Years (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2021).
  51. Pugh, James, The Royal Flying Corps, the Western Front and the Control of the Air, 1914-1918 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017).
  52. Ramsey, Raquel, and Aurand, Tricia, Taking Flight: The Nadine Ramsey Story (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2020).
  53. Rosier, Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick with Rosier, David, Be Bold (London: Grub Street, 2011).
  54. Scott, James, Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb (W.W. Norton: New York, NY, 2022).
  55. Siegal, Rebecca, To Fly Among The Stars: The Hidden Story of the Fight for Women Astronauts (New York, NY: Scholastic Focus, 2020).
  56. Spencer, Alex, British Imperial Air Power: The Royal Air Forces and the Defense of Australia and New Zealand Between the World Wars (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2020).
  57. Stone, Robert, and Andres, Alan, Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise that Launched America into the Space Age (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 2019).
  58. Streckfuss, James, Eyes All Over the Sky: Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War (Oxford, UK: Casemate Publishers, 2016).
  59. Swift, Earl, Across the Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings (New York, NY: Custom House, 2021).
  60. Vlaun, Brian D., Selling Schweinfurt: Targeting, Assessment, and Marketing in the Air Campaign Against German Industry (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2020).
  61. Westwick, Peter, Stealth: The Secret Contest to Invent Invisible Aircraft (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  62. Wrage, Stephen, and Cooper, Scott, No Fly Zones and International Security: Politics and Strategy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).

Review Articles

  1. Air Power in Technicolour.

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