A magnificent volume of short novels and an essential World War II report from one of America's great twentiethcentury writersOn the heels of the enormous success of his masterwork The Grapes of Wrath and at the height of the American war effort John Steinbeck, one of the most prolific and influential literary figures of his generation, wrote Bombs Away, a nonfiction account of his experiences with US Army Air Force bomber crews during World War II Now, for the first time since its original publication in , Penguin Classics presents this exclusive edition of Steinbeck's introduction to the thennascent US Army Air Force and its bomber crewthe essential core unit behind American air power that Steinbeck described as the greatest team in the worldFor than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the Englishspeaking world With than , titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as uptodate translations by awardwinning translators The reviews on the back cover claim it'sexciting than his fiction It's not This was written during World War II to teach Americans about the training and responsibilities of bomber crews It's interesting from a historical perspective, but it can drag at times Because of the time period, it also has a lot of repetition of jingoistic Americans are the best statements Some of them don't make much sense, such as Americans being the best at teamwork because they play team sports Even in the 1940s, this certainly wasn't exclusive to the United States He also goes out of his way to tell the reader again and again that everyone on the crew is of equal importance and that the pilot isn't above any of the rest However, it is noticeable that there are 29 pages devoted to pilot training, with only 8 about the crew chief and 4 about the radio engineer With all of that said, he does combine the basic discussion of training with several narratives In each chapter, a fictional (I assume) character is introduced to show what background is helpful and walk the reader through the training These characters combine to form a bomber team, and the reader gets to experience their final training missions through their stories This helps keep the reader engaged Overall, it's got a bit of interesting (although partially outdated) information about training of pilots, navigators, bombardiers, gunners, radio engineers, and aerial engineers I would not say, however, that it is nearly as interesting as his novels. Hemingway said he would willingly cut three fingers off his throwing hand rather than write a book like this one I think he was being generous. What even is this? Propaganda? I can't believe Steinbeck wrote this I did not enjoy this at all I should have expected it from reading the blurb, but I am also really curious so I read it anyway It's too promilitary, proamerica, just propaganda Not for me. Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team by John Steinbeck (Penguin Classic, 156 pages, paper, 1942) Never heard of Bombs Away by Steinbeck? (Neither had I I found this at the Johnson City Public Library book sale.) Probably because you never thought Steinbeck would write such a bias promilitary book Which this is Bombs Away is hardly a masterpiece on the order of Canary Row or The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck wrote this for the military to help bolster support for the Air Force in 1942 Steinbeck had two goals in mind: to show the public that our air crews were the best of the best and the country will win the war because of your support! Bombs Away is just about that heavy handed Hemingway thought it was trash.But there is an interesting story at work here Steinbeck is fairly honest in telling us about the teamwork and effort that goes into training a crew to deliver the payloads He’s a bit short with the ground crew and the command structure and barely mentions the copilot But he does praise the average American kid for having talents and skills to dothan just march and shoot He gives praise, I think where praise is due Hemingway was all about “the manly man” and his role in war Steinbeck would probably have beenpacifist with an edge towards socialism But the tables are turned here Steinbeck doesn’t support the war He supports the warrior The style is too sparse for my liking It’s written I thinkfor the style of the Army Air Force public relations campaigns than for a great novel But, in the time, that may have all that was needed When you send your boy off to fight and die do you really want flowery language?