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Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Exhilarating.” —New York Times Book Review


Riveting.People

“Keith O’Brien has brought these women—mostly long-hidden and forgotten—back into the light where they belong. And he’s done it with grace, sensitivity and a cinematic eye for detail that makes Fly Girls both exhilarating and heartbreaking.” —USA Today

The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won
 
Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.
 
Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.

Keith O’Brien is journalist who has written for the New York Times and Politico and he’s a longtime contributor to National Public Radio. His work has appeared on shows such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and This American Life. He is a former staff writer for the Boston Globe and the author of Outside Shot: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County’s Quest for Basketball Greatness. He lives in New Hampshire.
 

ISBN: 9781328876645

ISBN-10: 9781328876645

Publisher: Mariner Books

Publication Date: 08/07/2018 - 12:00am

On Sale: 08/07/2018 - 12:00am

Pages: 352

Language: English

Categories

History / United States / 20th Century

History / Women

Sports & Recreation / Air Sports