EMPIRE OF THE AIR: Juan Trippe and the Struggle for the World's Airways by Matthew Josephson

EMPIRE OF THE AIR: Juan Trippe and the Struggle for the World's Airways

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As a springboard to an overall view of postwar aviation and the key questions of freedom of the skies and a new concept of air power politics, this case history of Juan Trippe and Pan American is an interesting appraisal. The evil symptoms of international and commercial rivalry may serve as warning for the future. Josephson tells of the incredible growth of the line which started as a small Long Island based route, through its first mail charter, the Florida-Havana flights, then Mexico, Central America, South America; the building of new planes, developing of new techniques, establishing of dependable schedules leading up to the long Pacific route and the protected Atlantic service starting with the Bermuda schedule. All this is described in terms of the man behind it, and the methods he used, the mimic warfare in the international commercial air race, the tactics that allowed no reciprocal privileges for other air lines, the highly individual conception of air diplomacy, the technical and constructive contributions as opposed to commercial practices. Here are the key men, technicians, governmental aids that contributed to building Pan American's complex transport system. Nazis on its pay rolls had to be cleaned out in Central America. There is the story of its expansion for war service and the results. There is warning of the inevitability of monopolistic form along these lines, a warning of a possible ""closed sky"" policy in future international relations. Credit where due -- criticism where due (and this predominates). A sort of modern ""robber baron"" in the making, of interest to all who are concerned in the business of aviation.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace