Within a decade of the Wright Brothersâ€™ historic flight at Kitty Hawk, pilots were dropping the first crude bombs out of airplanes in combat while visionaries were predicting that the crushing power of an aerial assault would end warfare as we knew it. Yet for much of the first century of flight the myth of the airplaneâ€™s unstoppable power often surged far ahead of technological reality. It would take both brilliant new inventions and bold new thinking for air power to triumph at lastâ€”as it did with such devastating effect in the two Gulf wars. This sweeping history includes the latest inside details of air operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where precision weapons and unmanned drones quickly determined the outcome of the fight against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Stephen Budiansky draws on combat memoirs, government archives, and museum collections to create a sobering and dramatic account of the air wars of the last hundred years. A story of ideas and men, of intricate machines and fierce passions, Air Power is an edge-of-the-seat drama of contemporary warfare and technology crafted by one of our most gifted writers.