From huge, fragile airships hanging in the sky to dashing young war pilots obsessed with death and destruction, this text describes Germany’s perilous romance with aviation, covering the bright idealism of flight and its darker service in total war.
An important, thought-provoking study.
Peter Fritzsche’s unusual and enthralling history is about the most pervasive of [Germany’s] dreams, the national dream of an empire of the air.
This book illuminates a significant event—the human acquisition of powers of flight… The first chapter, on the zeppelin craze, is a splendid evocation of the popular enthusiasm that flooded the channels of official patriotism and disturbed the princes jostled by the masses coming to witness the flyby or landing of zeppelin…and this book becomes an informative and useful essay on the German experience of aviation in the first three decades of the twentieth century… Its strengths become obvious as it turns to the phenomenon of human flight in its German incarnation, recognizing the broad-spectrum appeal of flight and the peculiar relations between fliers and the masses it engenders… This work is useful and well worth reading. It promises a fuller, more detailed continuation of the project of understanding the role flight plays in making us different from our ancestors.
An excellent book, beautifully written… There is really nothing quite like it in the field… Its combination of solid scholarship, appealing writing, and provocative thought makes it an important contribution to our understanding of modern German military history.
A fundamental breakthrough in the development of an understanding of how technology fed a Faustian vision of modernism in which nationalism and industrial society became ever more compatible and ever more popular… A model in its insight into the correlation of technology and the popular imagination in the twentieth century.
A fascinating tale that provides a refreshing perspective on the history of early twentieth-century Germany, and Peter Fritzsche has told it with flair, passion, and an array of evidence taken from a wide range of little-known sources.
Peter Fritzsche presents a remarkable blend of technological, social, and cultural history in his study of the popular German reaction to early aviation… His findings have sizable implications for all scholars of twentieth-century Germany.
- 304 pages
- 6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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