AIR POWER: Promise and Reality, ed., Mark K. Wells, Imprint Publications, Inc., Chicago, IL, 2000, 339 pages, $39.95.
In Air Power: Promise and Reality, Colonel Mark K. Wells builds on previously published from 1978 symposium proceedings from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. Wells drops some background from that publication, adds five new essays, and presents an up-to-date historical overview of the development of military air power in its technical and theoretical aspects.
The essays skillfully trace the development of the machines, organizations, and theoretical underpinnings of the world's great air forces. Each essay is sufficiently focused, dealing in topics such as "French Military Aeronautics before and during the Great War," "Soviet Air Power in World War II," and "Air Power in the Gulf War: Plans, Execution, and Results." Each essay is also well researched and documented. While the source material might not be the most modem, it has stood the test of time, and no factual errors are noticeable; the presentations are informative and pertinent. …