This is an exhaustive and exhausting history of man's attempts to fly ranging from the mid-eighteenth century (with a brief paragraph mentioning earlier contributions) until the present (with an equally brief glimpse of the future). It has its high points when Mr. Becker considers the interplay between the fiction of Verne, Poe and H. G. Wells and the scientists of their times. Occasionally, interest will also be caught by the individual heroism of the Wrights, Charles Lindbergh, and such less well-known figures as Charles Yeager who first broke the sound barrier. For the most part, though, the book is about technology and technologists solving the problems of flight and is therefore fairly dull if informative reading. The best comparison in terms of scope is perhaps De Leuw's 1962 From Flying Horses to Man in the Moon which is equally uninspiring.