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Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All…

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History (edition 2019)

by Keith O'Brien (Author)

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222761,598 (4.07)None
ANew York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year * ANew York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * ATime Best Book for Summer   Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. While male pilots were lauded as heroes, the few women who dared to fly were more often ridiculed--until a cadre of women pilots banded together to break through the entrenched prejudice. Fly Girls weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high school dropout from Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcée; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at her blue blood family's expectations; and Louise Thaden, the young mother of two who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to fly and race airplanes--and in 1936, one of them would triumph, beating the men in the toughest air race of them all.… (more)
Title:Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
Authors:Keith O'Brien (Author)
Info:Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books (2019), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien



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Even though I typically stick to Sci-Fi/Fantasy-type reads, I do have eclectic taste, and when I venture out into the wild west of historical nonfiction, I typically really enjoy stories of women defying the odds and making gains in society.

I really liked how this book followed many well-known (and some not-as-well-known) female aviators from the 1920s and 1930s. Yes, Amelia Earhart was included (and, to be honest, the only name that rung any sort of bell for me...), but she was not alone. There were so many surprising stories in this book, and I really liked learning about this important period of women's rights.

For similar, yet different, books about women's important roles in the shaping of our history, I would also recommend similar books such as Hidden Figures, The Radium Girls, The Woman who Smashed Codes, and The Woman's Hour, all of which were similarly fascinating and fantastic reads.

Thank you to LibraryThing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | Feb 20, 2020 |
What a great job O'Brien does in describing the women aviators of the 1920s to 1950s. Amelia Earhart was, of course, the star though in comparison to some of the others, it's hard to know why. At first, the star was Ruth Nichols, a pretty girl from a rich family. Then there were Louise Thaden, Ruth Elder, and Florence Klingensmith - such impressive women! As with all other occupations, these women were disregarded and hindered from advancement at every turn. They were mocked, and it was likely their planes were sabotaged. If they crashed in inferior planes they were consistently blamed, yet men who did the same were honored. If they got lost, which was a regular occurrence in early aviation, it was because they were silly, easily distractable women. When men pilots got lost, it was unfortunate. I don't know how they managed to carry on against such disdain, but they loved to fly. The book is both inspirational and infuriating. Once again we see the personal damage done to people who fight against stereotypes. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Oct 14, 2019 |
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