The Spectacle of Flight: Aviation and the Western Imagination, 1920-1950

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9780300122657: The Spectacle of Flight: Aviation and the Western Imagination, 1920-1950
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In the decades following the First World War, when aviation was still a revelation, flight was perceived as a spectacle to delight the eyes and stimulate the imagination. Historian Robert Wohl takes us back to this time, recapturing the achievements of pioneering aviators and exploring flight as a source of cultural inspiration in the United States and Europe. Wohl begins the story of flight in this era with a fresh account of the impact of Charles Lindbergh's dramatic New York-Paris flight, then goes on to explain how Mussolini identified his Fascist regime with the modernist cachet of aviation. Wohl shows how the Hollywood film industry-drawing on the talents of such director-flyers as William Wellman and Howard Hawks and the eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes-created the aviation film; how writers such as Antoine de Saint-Exupery helped foster France's self-image as the "winged nation"; and how the spectacle of flight reached its tragic apotheosis during the bombing campaigns of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Generously illustrated with rare photographs, paintings, and posters and elegantly written, this book offers a gripping account of aviation and its hold on the popular imagination during the years between 1920 and 1950.

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Review:

"Wohl's enduring contribution is to analyze these promiscuous twentieth-century combinations of technology, art, nationalism, and spectacle, and to do so with unrivaled knowledge and remarkable insight."--Peter Fritzsche, author of "A Nation of Flyers"

About the Author:

Robert Wohl is Distinguished Professor of History, University of California at Los Angeles.

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9780300106923: The Spectacle of Flight: Aviation and the Western Imagination 1920-1950

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ISBN 10:  0300106920 ISBN 13:  9780300106923
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2005
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the decades following the First World War, when aviation was still a revelation, flight was perceived as a spectacle to delight the eyes and stimulate the imagination. Historian Robert Wohl takes us back to this time, recapturing the achievements of pioneering aviators and exploring flight as a source of cultural inspiration in the United States and Europe.Wohl begins the story of flight in this era with a fresh account of the impact of Charles Lindbergh's dramatic New York-Paris flight, then goes on to explain how Mussolini identified his Fascist regime with the modernist cachet of aviation. Wohl shows how the Hollywood film industry-drawing on the talents of such director-flyers as William Wellman and Howard Hawks and the eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes-created the aviation film; how writers such as Antoine de Saint-Exupery helped foster France's self-image as the "winged nation"; and how the spectacle of flight reached its tragic apotheosis during the bombing campaigns of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Generously illustrated with rare photographs, paintings, and posters and elegantly written, this book offers a gripping account of aviation and its hold on the popular imagination during the years between 1920 and 1950. Seller Inventory # BZV9780300122657

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