20 June 2009

Book Review--The Target: Love, Death, and Airline Deregulation

Title: The Target
Love, Death, and Airline Deregulation
Author: J. R. Hauptman
Website of Author: http://www.caddispublishing.com/
Publisher: Caddis Publishing
Website of Publisher: http://www.caddispublishing.com/
Genre: Historical Fiction
Copyright Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4363-0934-9
Length: 320 pages
Format: Paperback
Reviewer: J. A. Hunsinger, http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/

The Target, set in the decade of the 1980’s, provides an engaging read, in a fictional sense, on the morass created by the administration of President Jimmy Carter when, in 1978, he and his Socialist minions decided to dismantle the greatest airline system in the history of commercial aviation. With the deregulation of the industry, utter chaos ensued, and the door opened to the vermin hovering in the wings. The effects are still felt today, thirty-one years later.

J. R. Hauptman gets the reader into the mind of the professional pilots who were some of the highly-trained, dedicated workforce disenfranchised by deregulation, and the humor, fun, sorrow, and rage that typified their lives during those years. He delves into the mindset of the corporate raiders who destroyed great companies, without regard to the bodies collecting along the way, while reaping billions in ill-gotten profits.

The story is a combination of mystery, intrigue, murder, and enough sex to stir the pot; all in a fictional setting made more realistic by our collective memory of actual events. The author’s plot is tight, continuity is maintained throughout the story, and he uses the characters to skillfully relate the murderous feelings harbored by many of those who lost everything. The antagonist, Carlo Clemenza, is a fictional man who deserved to pay the ultimate price for what he did to his employees and their labor groups. There are a couple great twists as the story plays out.

Those of us, who were a part of commercial aviation during those years, eventually losing everything we had worked for, will never forget. I recommend this novel wholeheartedly. The Dénouement at the end has little to do with the book and seems to be offered as an aside, but it is my only negative comment on an otherwise good story.

J. A. Hunsinger
June, 2009

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