Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

10 CDs. HighBridge Audio. Aug. 2018. 12 hrs. ISBN 9781684412587. $39.99. digital download. HIST
OrangeReviewStarIn the 1920s and 1930s, the nation was gripped by air race fever. These extremely dangerous races, both short distance and cross country, drew tens of thousands of spectators, even during the Great Depression. While the 19th Amendment granted American women the right to vote in 1920, accomplished aviators Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Ruth Elder, and Florence Klingensmith knew earning this right was no true guarantee of gender equality. These passionate female aviators refused to be marginalized to the "Powder Puff Derby" and waged PR campaigns to be included in races with the men. O'Brien (Catching the Sky) portrays the plight of the "fly girls," as they were dismissively called, as they fought for the same opportunities as men in the fledgling aviation industry. Despite the number of subjects and events covered, O'Brien's narrative flows smoothly, and Erin Bennett deftly switches pace as she relates the compelling backgrounds of the women, the excitement of the races, and the tragedy that often followed. Despite the horror of the numerous crashes, this story is ultimately an inspiring tribute to these brave females who refused to accept the "you don't belong here" rebuke from a sneering patriarchal society.
VERDICT This thrilling title should have wide appeal, especially to those interested in gender equality, history, and aviation. ["Highly recommended for readers with an interest in aviation history, women's history, cultural history, and 20th-century history": LJ 6/15/18 starred review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]—Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib.
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