Blogging the Bookshelf

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Heroism in the Age of the Anti-Hero – “The Right Stuff” – Tom Wolfe

July 22nd, 2011 · No Comments · Civilisation, Culture

Nevertheless, young men did exactly what Moran predicted. They became military officers so that they could fly, and then flew against astonishingly deadly odds. As late as 1970,I was to discover in an article by a military doctor in a medical journal a career Navy pilot faced a 23 percent likelihood of dying in an accident. This did not even include deaths in combat, which at that time, with the war in Vietnam in progress, were catastrophically high for Navy pilots. The Right Stuff became the story of why men were willing—willing?—delighted!—to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero. Such was the psychological mystery that animated me in the writing of this book.

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