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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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15. THE ENGINEER

WHEN HE WAS A boy, he loved playing with model airplanes. It was the only pure thing of his life. All around him the world was collapsing, and the Japanese planes were disappearing from the sky, but his model planes were perfect and flew beautifully. Forty years later, telling a visitor about his childhood obsession, he would go to a cabinet in his living room and pull out his collection of model-airplane magazines of those years, carefully preserved, and show pictures of each plane he had so lovingly made. Going through his boyhood possessions, he also came across a notebook he had used in junior high school; on it was his name, and next to it he had written “engineer.” There had never been any doubt in his mind that someday ...

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