Falling Upwards

Falling Upwards

How We Took to the Air

Book - 2013
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Follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). The author includes accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar. The author documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, ©2013
ISBN: 9780307379665
Branch Call Number: 387.732 HOLMES
Characteristics: xii, 404 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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Sep 12, 2017

Historical and sociological view of the development of ballooning that ends with the story of failed Arctic expeditions. Bottom line: Somewhat tedious writing and a bit of a snoozer.

SB2000 Sep 11, 2013

The fascinating story of humankind's first foray into the air in balloons. Extraordinary adventures - quite incredible bravery - are detailed about the men and women who pioneered flight in little more than silk and wicker. In the process, they changed the way we viewed travel, humanity and the world itself. The story of the balloon influenced science, literature, communications, warfare, art and photography and had a fundamental impact on the human imagination. Written in an engaging and lyrical style, Falling Upwards focuses on the human side of these adventures rather than the technical - though there is enough in here to satisfy the armchair aeronaut.


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