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1 Hawthorne Aviation- General

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air

by

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

**Time Magazine 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013**

**The New Republic Best Books of 2013**

In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, 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). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell.

 

His 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 are dramatic and exhilarating. Holmes 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.

 

A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, Falling Upwards explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision.

(With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

Review:

"Mesmerized by the dash and eccentricity of many who have flown balloons since the first Montgolfiers of 1783, Holmes (The Age of Wonder) communicates the perilous delight of ballooning through tales of scientific feats and derring-do. Fearless, reckless French aeronaut Sophie Blanchard delighted both Napoleon and restored Bourbon King Louis XVIII as she released nighttime aerial firework displays and executed complicated acrobatics while standing, exposed, in a tiny silver gondola. (In 1819, thousands watched horrified as Blanchard, aged 41, crashed to her death in a fiery descent from the Paris sky.) Although New Hampshirite Thaddeus Lowe's dreams of transatlantic balloon flight were cut short by the Civil War, he persuaded Lincoln that a balloon could carry telegraph equipment and send direct aerial observations to a commander on the ground; and 'one of Lowe's most brilliant observational coups' was the discovery of the Confederates' May 1862 secret evacuation of Yorktown under cover of darkness. British meteorologist James Glaisher (1809 — 1903) attempted to determine how high a man could fly before he was 'asphyxiated, frozen, burnt or even electrocuted by static electricity in high clouds.' An unconventional history of ballooning, this quirky, endearing, and enticing collection melds the spirit of discovery with chemistry, physics, engineering, and the imagination. Illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Falling Upwards tells the story of the enigmatic group of men and women who first risked their lives to take to the air, and so discovered a new dimension of human experience. Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet in wholly unexpected ways is its subject.

Dramatic sequences move from the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries; the crazy firework flights of beautiful Sophie Blanchard; the revelatory ascents over the great Victorian cities and sprawling industrial towns of Northern Europe; the astonishing long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise, and the French photographer Felix Nadar, to the terrifying high-altitude flights of James Glaisher FRS who rose above seven miles without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology as well as the environmental notion--so important to us today--of a "fragile" planet. Balloons were also used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the American Civil War (including a memorable flight by General Custer). 

Readers will also discover the many writers and dreamers--from Mary Shelley to Edgar Allan Poe, from Charles Dickens to Jules Verne--who felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. Most of all, through the strange allure of the great balloonists, Holmes offers another of his subtle portraits of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision.

(With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

About the Author

Richard Holmes was Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was awarded an OBE in 1992. He is the author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, which won the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Writing as well as the 2009 NBCC award for nonfiction, and was one of The New York Times Book Review's Best Books of the Year. Earlier books include Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage, Coleridge: Early Visions, and Coleridge: Darker Reflections (an NBCC finalist). He lives in England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307379665
Author:
Holmes, Richard
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
History
Subject:
Outdoors-Lore and Survival
Subject:
Aviation - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20131031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT 24 PPS OF
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.3 x 1.5 in 1.8375 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Featured Titles » Science
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Lore and Survival
Transportation » Aviation » Balloons and Airships
Transportation » Aviation » General

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air Used Hardcover
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$24.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780307379665 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mesmerized by the dash and eccentricity of many who have flown balloons since the first Montgolfiers of 1783, Holmes (The Age of Wonder) communicates the perilous delight of ballooning through tales of scientific feats and derring-do. Fearless, reckless French aeronaut Sophie Blanchard delighted both Napoleon and restored Bourbon King Louis XVIII as she released nighttime aerial firework displays and executed complicated acrobatics while standing, exposed, in a tiny silver gondola. (In 1819, thousands watched horrified as Blanchard, aged 41, crashed to her death in a fiery descent from the Paris sky.) Although New Hampshirite Thaddeus Lowe's dreams of transatlantic balloon flight were cut short by the Civil War, he persuaded Lincoln that a balloon could carry telegraph equipment and send direct aerial observations to a commander on the ground; and 'one of Lowe's most brilliant observational coups' was the discovery of the Confederates' May 1862 secret evacuation of Yorktown under cover of darkness. British meteorologist James Glaisher (1809 — 1903) attempted to determine how high a man could fly before he was 'asphyxiated, frozen, burnt or even electrocuted by static electricity in high clouds.' An unconventional history of ballooning, this quirky, endearing, and enticing collection melds the spirit of discovery with chemistry, physics, engineering, and the imagination. Illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Falling Upwards tells the story of the enigmatic group of men and women who first risked their lives to take to the air, and so discovered a new dimension of human experience. Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet in wholly unexpected ways is its subject.

Dramatic sequences move from the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries; the crazy firework flights of beautiful Sophie Blanchard; the revelatory ascents over the great Victorian cities and sprawling industrial towns of Northern Europe; the astonishing long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise, and the French photographer Felix Nadar, to the terrifying high-altitude flights of James Glaisher FRS who rose above seven miles without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology as well as the environmental notion--so important to us today--of a "fragile" planet. Balloons were also used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the American Civil War (including a memorable flight by General Custer). 

Readers will also discover the many writers and dreamers--from Mary Shelley to Edgar Allan Poe, from Charles Dickens to Jules Verne--who felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. Most of all, through the strange allure of the great balloonists, Holmes offers another of his subtle portraits of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision.

(With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

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