A Book Review Of Wings Of Fire – An Autobiography By APJ Abdul Kalam: Understanding The Resilience And The True Journey Of India’s Missile Man

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Book Review Of Wings Of Fire – An Autobiography By APJ Abdul Kalam

Wings Of Fire – An Autobiography

Review by Rekha Bhagtani, Booxoul.com

Author: APJ Abdul Kalam

Writing Style
Story Telling


Every common man who by his sheer grit and hard work achieves success should share his story with the rest for they may find inspiration and strength to go on, in his story. The ‘Wings of Fire’ is one such autobiography by visionary scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who from very humble beginnings rose to be the President of India. The book is full of insights, personal moments and life experiences of Dr Kalam. It gives us an understanding of his journey to success. Dr Kalam by narrating his life journey evokes the reader to identify with one’s inner fire and potential, for he was of the firm belief that each one of us was born with the strength and potential to make a tangible change in the world. How he inspired himself to achieve dreams and how he went about accomplishing so much is what the book captures nicely. The book recollects many anecdotes and stories from childhood, his time at school and college. The time spent at the Langley Research Center, NASA and Wallops Flight Facility get a lot of attention. Personal tragedies have not been left out. The time when he lost his father and how he felt when conferred with many awards like the Padma Bhushan have been written in much detail. The second half of the book deals with Dr Kalam, the scientist who made a significant contribution to developing the country’s guided missile program, a pioneering effort for the security of the nation. It’s not with reason that he was nicknamed the ‘Missile Man of India’. The book also contains 24 photographs at various stages of his life. Authored by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Mr Arun Tiwari, the 180-page book ‘The Wings of Fire’ was first published in the year 2000. Mr Tiwari is a well-known missile scientist who has worked with Dr Kalam. Having become a bestseller, the book has even been translated into thirteen languages, which include Chinese and French. About the Author Dr APJ Abdul Kalam from 2002 to 2007 served as the 11th President of India. Greatly admired all over India, he was a scientist by profession, who played a leading role in developing the country’s missile program. From humble roots in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam in an inspirational autobiography ‘The Wings of Fire’ traces the rise and the mark he made in life. Mr Arun Tiwari, a scientist, was a colleague of Dr Kalam.


If you fall never give up because F.A.L.L. means ‘First Attempt In Learning’. End is not the end; in fact, it means ‘Effort never dies. If you get no as an answer, remember N.O means next Opportunity.

APJ Abdul Kalam

What words!! Absolutely inspire one to the core of these nuggets of learning. Imparted by the maestro himself whilst scattering his knowledge, expertise, bits of learning and experience gathered over years of learning and perseverance.

APJ Abdul Kalam aka Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the eleventh President of India and one of India’s most revered and loved rocket scientists holds this position for a reason. True, he has dedicatedly innovated some high tech rockets and missiles which got us a higher advantage in the tech space. But, by bringing about this in an agriculturally rich country like ours, he has ensured that he gets India on the global map in the tech space with his pursuits and his resilience. 

Wings of Fire is a book written by him to bring to light all people who wanted to know about his childhood, family and most importantly answers the biggest question of all-Why is APJ Abdul kalam so popular among young fellows and why should kids as well as youth be looking up to him as the best example to follow in life.

The book is divided into 3 main parts-Orientation, Creation and Propagation, each one targeting a certain age group of Kalam.


The book begins with Kalam’s early days at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, discussing his childhood and early education. Kalam was an avid reader and a sincere, hardworking student. He completed his Bachelor in Physics before taking up admission in the aeronautical engineering course.

The second part broadly discusses his struggles in getting his dream job and the disappointments which came afterwards. This part also emulates and speaks of his entry into ISRO and the rockets and hover crafts that he was aiming at creating.

A man of true perseverance, patience, resilience and hope, Kalam failed a number of times. Yet he always managed to keep himself calm and poised, only focusing on his goals. His dedication was rewarded when he made his first dream true by creating the first-ever SLV machine in India and later he also launched around 5 missiles with great efficiency. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan as well as the Baharat Ratna which incidentally is the highest civilian award bestowed upon an individual.

The third and the final part mainly discusses his advice and suggestions for future generations specifically. His life stands to be a true inspiration to each and every individual out there who is aspiring to be reaching towards a substantial goal. We all need to adhere to the qualities of sincerity as well as dedication he has portrayed throughout his life and this story of it.

The “People’s president”-Kalam shall continue to remain one of the biggest motivators in the Indian Space Front having taken India on the global map. 

I particularly want to recommend this book to kids as well as the youth as I strongly feel that we need to cast the best possible example to our next generation in order to inspire them to not only achieve big but to do so in a manner which has been adopted by few. The story of the revered missile man of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is a torchbearer of inspiration and also a true saga of achievement which very few have managed to get in this life. It is not only important to impart knowledge to kids, but rather one also has to ensure that important life lessons such as striving and the pursuit of a never give up attitude are equally important as we have to ensure that there is not only education imparted to these young people but also life skills essential for a better, empowered and a much better world.

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So, hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as we enjoyed compiling it for you. It was an honour writing about such a revered persona and equally a matter of pride in bringing forth the real purpose and vision behind his book. Do let us know in the comments below which is your favourite book by Abdul Kalam and why. Keep tuning in for your daily dose of entertainment, travel, leisure, lifestyle, tech and gadgets, food and all things bookish. Only here at Booxoul, India’s best book review and lifestyle blog.

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  1. Prafulla Mahure September 20, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    A book Review is nicely written making readers curious to read the book.

  2. Koka shravya October 23, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    I like this article very much


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