Synopses & Reviews
"Human flight is not a simple matter of science and technology. It is a continuing epic of dreams and obsession, of yearning and striving to harness the intellect in the service of the emotions."
In Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flight, Bayla Singer offers a unique approach to humanity's fascination with flying. Rather than merely tracing the factual prehistory of flight up to the success of the Wright Brothers, Bayla Singer considers the interaction and influence of our dreams, fantasies, culture, and technology on the age-old quest to fly.
This enlightening study begins with the deities and other denizens of the heavens that humanity has created in its religion, literature, and art. At first a monopoly of the gods, flight came to interest humanity as a way to free itself from the physical and intellectual bonds of the earth.
The myth of flight eventually gives way to the pursuit of actual flight. Singer shows in compelling detail the many flying machines that have been created, including balloons, gliders, and kites. The accomplishment of the Wright Brothers and our successful trips into space are merely stops on a continuing journey, as our ancient dream of flight continues to push us to new and loftier places.
Filled with compelling stories and detailed illustrations, this book provides absorbing reading for aviation experts, those fascinated with the intimate relationship between technology and culture, and all of us who have even a passing interest in flying.
and#8220;. . . a most intriguing work and one which shows promise . . . I think she has compiled a wonderful and rich collection of anecdotes and evidence.and#8221;--Deborah Douglas
“. . . a most intriguing work and one which shows promise . . . I think she has compiled a wonderful and rich collection of anecdotes and evidence.”--Deborah Douglas -- Dr. Richard Byers, professor of history at North Georgia College and State Unive
Singer offers a unique approach to humanity's fascination with flying. Rather than merely tracing the factual prehistory of flight up to the success of the Wright Brothers, Singer considers the interaction and influence of dreams, fantasies, culture, and technology on the age-old quest to fly. Photos.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -213) and index.
About the Author
Bayla Singer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently an independent scholar, she has served as a consultant for the Smithsonian and has written a number of magazine and journal articles. Singer resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Table of Contents
Dreams and mythology. Deities aloft. Artificial wings and the imitation of God. Travel to extraordinary kingdoms -- Theory and practice. Exuberant speculations. Human-powered flight : ornithopters. Gliders, parachutes, and kites. Balloons and dirigibles : sustained flight. The dream continues.