In 1941, Glen Edwards learned to fly in a fabric-covered biplane. Seven years later, he died in the crash of the Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing, the Air Force’s most advanced jet warplane and forerunner of the B-2 Stealth bomber of today. As a combat pilot in North Africa and Italy during World War II, and as a test pilot during a period of astonishing innovation, Edwards was among the best of a new generation of military aviators. The isolated desert base where Edwards crashed would be named in his honor.
Throughout his military career, Glen Edwards kept a diary of what he did and what he thought. Military historian Daniel Ford situates that diary in the context of World War II, the development of flight testing as a science, and the birth of an independent U.S. Air Force. He shows how military pilots in the 1940s augmented their seat-of-the-pants bravado and precision flying skills with rigorous academic training. Conveying both the exhaustion of combat and the exhilaration of flying some of the world’s fastest, most sophisticated planes, the book traces the tragic course of Glen Edwards’s career: the near-daily bombing missions over Africa and Italy, a record-breaking cross-country flight in the weird XB-42 Mixmaster, and trial flights in the YB-49 Flying Wing—the first plane Edwards ever actively disliked. The innovative Northrop bomber, Daniel Ford concludes, just wasn’t ready for prime time. With photographs from the Air Force and the Edwards family.
"A fascinating tale and a tribute to an unassuming man who simply loved to fly." -- Air & Space / Smithsonian
Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West. In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times). Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. “Sentimental Journeys” is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city’s racial and class fault lines. Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion’s friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of “superior reporting and criticism” from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years “to get the story straight” (Los Angeles Times).
Imagine how it would feel to one day wake up and find your vision descending swiftly into darkness. Your fingertips are turning numb, and, as the world closes in around you, you realise there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is what happened to Vanessa Potter.
In the space of 72 hours, Vanessa went from juggling a high-flying career as a producer and caring for her two small children to being completely blind, unable to walk, and with her sense of touch completely gone.
Over the course of the next six months, Vanessa slowly began to recover. Opening her eyes onto a black-and-white world with mutating shapes and colours that crackled and fizzled, she encountered a visual landscape that was completely unrecognisable. As colour reappeared, Vanessa experienced a range of bizarre phenomena as her confused brain tried to make sense of the world around her, and she found herself touching and talking to inanimate objects in order to stimulate her vision – all part of her brain's mechanism for coping with the trauma of sensory loss.
Going blind led Vanessa to turn science sleuth, reinventing herself as Patient H69 to uncover the reality behind her unique condition. With the help of a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, we follow her story as she learns the science of herself, making discoveries that will positively change the course of her life.
Vanessa's account is raw and candid, but ultimately upbeat. It shows how this remarkable woman opened doors by transforming her terrifying experience into an inspirational and scientifically fascinating endeavour.
Shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize 2018.
This is a memoir of intense physical and personal experience, exploring how swimming with seals, gulls and orcas in the cold waters off Orkney provided Victoria Whitworth with an escape from a series of life crises and helped her to deal with intolerable loss.
It is also a treasure chest of history and myth, local folklore and archaeological clues, giving us tantalising glimpses of Pictish and Viking men and women, those people lost to history, whose long-hidden secrets are sometimes yielded up by the land and sea.
At age forty, with two growing children and a new consulting company she’d recently founded, Gretchen Cherington, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, faced a dilemma: Should she protect her parents’ well-crafted family myths while continuing to silence her own voice? Or was it time to challenge those myths and speak her truth—even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her?
In this powerful memoir, aided by her father’s extensive archives at Dartmouth College and interviews with some of her father’s best friends, Cherington candidly and courageously retraces her past to make sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s to Cherington’s consulting work through three decades with powerful executives to her eventual decision to speak publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where, too often, men still call the shots.
At a time when celebrities such as Sally Field and other adult survivors of childhood abuse are finding the courage to tell their stories, and governments are holding Royal Commissions into abuse within institutions, this memoir-based novel reveals the lengthy and difficult experience of abuse within the home. It provides a bright glimmer of hope for victims who have not yet started on their road to recovery. Readers share the life of Frankie, a 50-year-old social work student, and her dramatic memories of physical and sexual abuse at the hand of her father. Frankie journeys from despair to recovery, transforming into a strong woman who is able to turn the negativity of her life into positive help for others. You will experience her emotions at the time of the abuse, gain insight into how this affected her adult behaviour, and share her victory as she learned to overcome. “I would thoroughly recommend this book as a source of hope and inspiration to all those who have been affected by the impact of child abuse on their lives, and those who work with survivors. It demonstrates the importance of seeking help and support from others and breaking the silence that surrounds abuse. The book inspires the reader never to give up hope …” Geri Burnikell, Co-ordinator of SupportLine Reg. charity 1097419
A brave and beautiful memoir about one woman’s determined mission to expose family secrets and lies.
When Clare Best agrees to help her dying father record the story of his life, she knows time is running out. Will he finally reveal the truth before he dies?
Written as a patchwork of flashbacks, journal entries, descriptions of old ciné-film footage and idiosyncratic lists, the narrative has the drive and intrigue of a thriller.
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