Life Is a Piece of Cake

"Overall an excellent read. Provides great insight into the history of the Cold War, and in particular, the U-2 incident."

Francis Gary Powers, Jr., Founder, The Cold War Museum

About the author

Hear Don tell a couple of his favorite stories about leadership and flying now on YouTube!

In search of his boyhood dream of becoming a fighter pilot, Don Wright enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1955. After earning his wings and working as an instructor pilot for several years, he was selected in 1965 as the 192nd man to fly the high-altitude reconnaissance airplane, the U-2, an honor so far afforded to just over 1,000 men and women.

If you would like Don to speak to your organization about the U-2 experience or other topics in this book, and/or if you have comments or questions about the material presented, please feel free to contact the author via the contact form.

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A Whisper from the Silent Generation

Pilots who have flown the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft have two things in common: the courage to take her up and the skill to bring her home. This is the story of Don Wright, U-2 pilot 192, and his journey from South Buffalo, NY, at the depths of the Depression to the stratosphere at the height of the Cold War.

From 70,000 feet, Don has experienced a view of the Earth that is breathtaking. From his perspective looking back more than seven decades, he offers a view of history that is both entertaining and enlightening.

This is a book you won’t want to put down. It is a book you’ll be happy for your children to pick up.

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Talk back - click below to add new comment

Through the book, I've had such a great time telling stories, connecting and reconnecting with everyone! Please share your comments here about the book. I bet that you've got some good tales to tell, too.

Robert F. Koester Says:
Mon, 01/04/2010 - 20:11

For anyone having grown up in the late 30s, the 40s, and the early 50's this book is a real treat down memory lane. You may not have had the same experiences Don Wright had, but his adventures, told with humor and insight, will surely take you back to your youth. Added to that are the fascinating stories of a flyboy taking on every challenge thrown at him, culminating in the ultimate thrill - piloting the U2.
Don had his share of setbacks, and it is a tribute to his character that he can look back on life and call it a "Piece of Cake."

William G. Kluck Says:
Sat, 01/09/2010 - 17:09

What a wonderful read. "Life is a Piece of Cake", is entertaining, thoughtful, and you can't put it down. A real trip down memory lane, with old friends to share the ride. A story teller extraordinaire, Don has spun a true story about his life and included those people and events around him that made it so memorable. And I might add, those that are still around are still best friends, just waiting in the wings for the next adventure.(Never too old for a bit of fun!) It is truly a good read that will make you laugh and sadden you at the same time. Don's life partner, Polly, once she joined him, has been there the rest of the way and she can still laugh as Don greets and talks to everyone he meets along life's road.

Well done Captain Wright. Keep 'em flying.

Mike Says:
Wed, 04/22/2009 - 23:39

You could have heard a pin drop...

Don Wright led us through his early childhood, and worked us up to his entry into the USAF, and selection for the U-2 program. The frosting
on the Cake, was when he related his fellow U-2 squadron mate’s inadvertent flight over Russia at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Uncertain of his position, with minimum fuel, engine and battery shut down, a frosted canopy... about as mobile as the Michelin Man in a bath tub...

Have Don come visit your group he is a wonderful story teller with a great story!

Mike (USAF '70-'74)

Jack Akin Says:
Wed, 04/01/2009 - 11:09

You held our military group in suspense as you described a U-2 flight over the North Pole, the Soviet Union and a fortunate landing. Your knack for descriptive phrases and an ability to plant an image in our minds had us holding our breath. Thus, we became the pilot in God's altitude chamber. As an instructor pilot, you qualified all of us armchair enthusiasts completely. Thanks for the ride.