In the study of Canadian military history the Avro Arrow has become a buzzword found on the lips of all technological, political and even airforce enthusiast. At the risk of seeming unoriginal in topic selection, this critique reviews the fascinating biography, Fall of an Arrow, by Murray Peden. Peden's historical biography accurately covers a variety of aspects of the A. V. Row Arrow, from specifics in military capability, to competing technological and political/economic significance. This critical evaluation of the mentioned secondary source sets out to evaluate the work as a historical source, focussing on evidence of bias, the apparent coherence of arguments and finally the effectiveness of Peden's underlying points.
The metaphorical tittle alludes to the cancellation of the Arrow project in 1959, which terminated a Canadian built high-speed interceptor far superior to any aircraft of its time and potentially of the century. Peden refers to the disspansion as, "The number one stupidest decision ever made by a politician in peace time." The tittle itself bears testimony to an emotional bias, hinting to the author's fondness for the Arrow. As with all historical viewpoints there is bound to be some bias in the expression. From the moment one begins the reading, one realizes that Peden is anti conservative, as he opens his first chapter discussing the dashing of the Canadian military aviation industry from a proud position. Peden contrast this with a statement of a liberal who claims this is the demolition of, "the greatest single achievement in Canadian History." This clear bias sets the tone of the remainder of the book, bearing fair warning of a highly emotionally driven bias disfavoring the CF-105 cancellation. It is one things to simply state the facts as they occurred in history, it is a completely different and subjective thing when the motive is to point out and argue buffoonery on the part of individuals or past governments in general.
To further examine the book's worth as a historical guide it is important to note the great details described in terms of process and specifications of the late Arrow. Peden captures a multitude of statistics and draws on technical background making his book an excellent source for facts and figures. Moreover the book explains much of the technical focus of the Arrow project detractors, for this takes up the larger portion of his case. In the event that one should need to back up concepts and theories regarding the Arrow project and the surrounding political and economic affairs, Peden provides an extremely valuable source. There is much to be mentioned in terms of the people who drove the project, engineers, cooperative Americans who's resources made much of the project viable, and the leadership of Crawford Gordon. Unfortunately this source is skimpy on the preceding variables, compromising it's historic worth in terms of key personalities. It would be this...