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Falling Upwards

How We Took To The Air

By Richard Holmes, 1945-

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**
**Time Magazine 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013**
**The New Republic Best Books of 2013**

In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell.
 
His accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar are dramatic and exhilarating. Holmes documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose) seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work.
 
A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, Falling Upwards explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision.

(With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)


From the Hardcover edition.

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Book

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ISBN

9780307379665


Format: Book
Author: Holmes, Richard, 1945-
Summary: Falling Upwards tells the story of the enigmatic group of men and women who first risked their lives to take to the air, and so discovered a new dimension of human experience. Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet in wholly unexpected ways is its subject.-- Publisher's description.
Title: Falling upwards : how we took to the air / Richard Holmes.
Publisher Date: New York : Pantheon Books, c2013.
Subject: Balloonists -- History. Ballooning -- History.
Isbn: 9780307379665 0307379663
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 387.73209 Hol
Oclc: 827258453
Upc:
Bib Id: 455612

Format: Book
Author: Holmes, Richard, 1945-
Summary: Falling Upwards tells the story of the enigmatic group of men and women who first risked their lives to take to the air, and so discovered a new dimension of human experience. Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet in wholly unexpected ways is its subject.-- Publisher's description.
Title: Falling upwards : how we took to the air / Richard Holmes.
Edition: 1st United States ed.
Publisher, Date: New York : Pantheon Books, c2013.
Description: xii, 404 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
Subjects: Balloonists -- History.
Subjects: Ballooning -- History.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents: Voices overhead -- The falling dream -- Fiery prospects -- Airy kingdoms -- Angel's eye -- Wild west wind -- Spies in the sky -- Gigantic voyages -- Vertical explorations -- Mariners of the upper atmosphere -- Paris airborne -- Extreme balloons -- Epilogue -- Classic balloon accounts.
LCCN: 2013011128
ISBN: 9780307379665
ISBN: 0307379663
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 387.73209 Hol