Jet Set: The People, The Planes, the Glamour, and the Romance in Aviation's Glory Years by William Stadiem
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Stadiem takes us to a time when flying was still special and glamorous but was becoming more and more accessible to the average person. We meet the people who made the planes, the people who made it seem like an attainable dream and the people who made it work.
Why I Picked This Book: I have an aunt who was a stewardess during this time and I've always thought the picture of her in her stewardess uniform was so glamorous looking. I jumped at the chance to find out more about it.
Pros: This book contains A LOT of information. We get an in-depth look of how society became celebrity with gossip columns, the war between the airlines and a look at the men behind it, the people who made them fly, the people who made passengers comfortable and everything in between. This is a "Did you know?" kind of book. While I was reading this I was constantly bringing up odd little facts at dinner. "Did you know Oleg Cassini's brother was a famous gossip columnist?" "Did you know that when Boeing was broken up due to anti-trust laws that William Boeing got mad and spent the rest of his life raising thoroughbreds?" If you're wondering my husband's answers were - "Who is Oleg Cassini?" and "Yes". Unlike some "Did you know?" books the information in this book didn't feel like a massive overload of information. It read like a story with information being easily retained. While some chapters read a little easier even the more technical chapters were very clear. I thought the pictures in the book were well used. Just as soon as I thought "I wonder what this person looks like?" I'd turn the page and there was a picture. It was fun to see how flying went from a thing that was so special you dressed up for to a thing that was so ordinary you're lucky if your fellow passengers aren't in their pajamas.
Cons: Because of the wide variety of information the book contained, it felt a little disjointed. Each chapter felt almost like a novella and it took me a few pages to get caught up in each one.
Overall: I found this fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also found this worked very well as an e-book which isn't always the case with non-fiction. The pictures were clear and spaced sporadically throughout the book. If you're the slightest bit interested in the topic it's definitely worth picking up!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I'll keep a lookout for Stadiem's other books.
Would I Recommend this Book?: This is a great book about the early days of commercial flight. If you're at all interested it's definitely worth reading.