What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky

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Updated 30 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky

Author: Alexander Rose

Alexander Rose’s new book, Empires of the Sky,  is a well written work on the history of commercial aviation.
Rose chronicles the early 20th century rivalry between airships and airplanes for the future of commercial air travel in this exhaustive account.
“Though it seems obvious now that we would get on a jet to cross the Atlantic, that wasn’t the situation in the early periods of aviation. When Lindberg crossed the Atlantic in 1927, it was one man in an airplane that had been stripped down to the lowest weight possible. By comparison, Zepplins, a rigid frame airship, had been capable of carrying over 50 crew members since about 1912,” said a review in goodreads.com.
The book looks at the origins of the Zepplin — first envisioned by a German, Ferdinand von Zepplin.
The company was later helmed by Hugo Eckener. It also looks at technical innovation, political and social topics.
Historian Rose delivers a multi-dimensional story of bold entrepreneurial and engineer exploits, as well as the political machinations and the military value of dirigibles and aeroplanes.


What We Are Reading Today: Revolutionary Lives

Updated 10 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Revolutionary Lives

Author: Lauren Arrington

Constance Markievicz (1868–1927), born to the privileged Protestant upper class in Ireland, embraced suffrage before scandalously leaving for a bohemian life in London and then Paris. She would become known for her roles as politician and Irish revolutionary nationalist.
Her husband, Casimir Dunin Markievicz (1874–1932), a painter, playwright, and theater director, was a Polish noble who would eventually join the Russian imperial army to fight on behalf of Polish freedom during World War I.
Revolutionary Lives offers the first dual biography of these two prominent European activists and artists.
Tracing the Markieviczes’ entwined and impassioned trajectories, biographer Lauren Arrington sheds light on the avant-garde cultures of London, Paris, and Dublin, and the rise of anti-imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.
Drawing from new archival material, including previously untranslated newspaper articles, Arrington explores the interests and concerns of Europeans invested in suffrage, socialism, and nationhood.