“Top Gun: Maverick” Is a Legacy Sequel to America

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By Mark Asch “Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’”-The Great Gatsby “That’s what I sleep with every night: the future of this fucking industry!”-Tom Cruise In James Salter’s novel The Hunters, a fighter pilot on rotation in the Korean War considers the end of his career: “He was thirty-one, not too old, certainly; but it would not be long.” Salter, who flew F-86 Sabres in Korea and shot down a MiG north of the Yalu River on the Fourth of July, 1952, continues: “His eyes weren’t good enough any more. With an athlete, the legs failed first. With a fighter pil…

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