a1 Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Mahan wrote protractedly about sea power, although certainly not more than his notable subject deserved, without using an unqualified “Sea Power” as the title for any of his works. His “Sea Power in Its Relation to the War of 1812,” for example, was published in two volumes totaling 860 pages. Held against this standard of thoroughness, any book entitled “Air Power” and running a modest 200 pages should perhaps be suspect at the outset. The purchaser should nevertheless be entitled to anticipate that such a book would in fact concentrate on discussing air power, that air power would be defined and placed in perspective as an instrument of policy, and that knowledgeability would be exhibited with respect to existing and projected national air forces. The reader might also expect a full awareness of the scientific and technological revolution now proceeding at so accelerated a pace that air power in some respects has to repeat its coming of age almost annually. Some expectation might be justified that the author would make his own contribution toward concepts and philosophy touching the use of air forces and the place of air power. If the author was English, as is Mr. Lee, the reader could also confidently expect some appreciation of future British air power, more especially as the United Kingdom has unequivocally replaced its ancient reliance on sea power with a new reliance on air power as the military fulcrum of its national strategy.
Brigadier General S. F. Giffin, USAF, has been Vice Commandant of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., since 1954. His former assignments include service with the Tactical Air Command in the China Theater during World War II and several subsequent years at headquarters of the US European Command.