Photography and Flight
by Denis Cosgrove and William L. Fox
Reaktion Books, 2010
Used for everything from geographic evaluation to secret spy missions, aerial photography has a rich and storied history, ably recounted here in Photography and Flight.

Aerial photography is marked by its dependency on technological developments in both photography and aerospace, and the authors chart the history of this photography as it tracked the evolution of these technologies. Beginning with early images taken from hot-air balloons, fixed platforms, and subsequent handheld camera technology, Denis Cosgrove and William Fox then explain how military reconnaissance and governmental projects were instrumental in catalyzing these and other innovations in the field. They examine pivotal historical moments in which aerial photography began to establish itself as essential tool, such as in World War II military strategies, high-altitude photography taken from postwar rockets and aircraft, and the use of aerial photography during the cold war and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book also explores the advancement of geographic scholarship through aerial photography, ranging from military excursions into Antarctica to the images of the curvature of the earth taken during the Apollo space missions.

While digital technology and remote sensing have changed the landscape of photography, Photography and Flight argues that they have not diminished the significance of aerial photography in providing images of the earth. Rather, new technologies and resulting innovations such as Google Earth have enabled the mass democratization of access to such information. Photography and Flight ultimately reveals how the camera lens from far away continues to unearth telling details about the land and those who live upon it.
 
See More
1
The Witch’s Flight
by Kara Keeling
series edited by Judith Halberstam and Lisa Lowe
Duke University Press, 2007
Kara Keeling contends that cinema and cinematic processes had a profound significance for twentieth-century anticapitalist Black Liberation movements based in the United States. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s notion of “the cinematic”—not just as a phenomenon confined to moving-image media such as film and television but as a set of processes involved in the production and reproduction of social reality itself —Keeling describes how the cinematic structures racism, homophobia, and misogyny, and, in the process, denies viewers access to certain images and ways of knowing. She theorizes the black femme as a figure who, even when not explicitly represented within hegemonic cinematic formulations of raced and gendered subjectivities, nonetheless haunts those representations, threatening to disrupt them by making alternative social arrangements visible.

Keeling draws on the thought of Frantz Fanon, Angela Davis, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, and others in addition to Deleuze. She pursues the elusive figure of the black femme through Haile Gerima’s film Sankofa, images of women in the Black Panther Party, Pam Grier’s roles in the blaxploitation films of the early 1970s, F. Gary Gray’s film Set It Off, and Kasi Lemmons’s Eve’s Bayou.

See More
2
On the Wing
edited by Karen Yelena Olsen
University of Iowa Press, 2005
From Kitty Hawk to the jumbo jet and from the lunar landing to interstellar probes, American poets in On the Wing explore the phenomena of aviation and space flight. Edited by Karen Yelena Olsen, this balanced yet buoyant anthology collects 116 poems. The six thematic sections celebrate past achievements and the sensuous joys of flying (“Impulse of Delight”), revel in the vistas opening to the airborne traveler (“Worlds Above, Below, Within”), ponder the impact of air travel on everyday life (“Airplane Visions, Airport Truths”), outline the sinister role of the airplane in war (“Angle of Attack”), lament the shadow of airborne tragedy (“Icarus Falling”), and explore the mythic dimensions of space flight (“Space Odysseys”).
Olsen’s introduction traces the prehistory of flight literature from the Bible to the 19th century and sketches the evolution of 20th-century response, from initial exuberance to a more nuanced and probing examination of aviation and aerospace as they affect our lives. The book includes a short history of flight in the U.S. The product of a lifetime’s passion for both flight and poetry, this collection will deeply interest those who have never been on a plane—and delight those who have.
See More
3
Nancy Batson Crews
by Sarah Byrn Rickman
foreword by Jane Kirkpatrick
University of Alabama Press, 2009
A riveting oral history/biography of a pioneering woman aviator.

This is the story of an uncommon woman--high school cheerleader, campus queen, airplane pilot, wife, mother, politician, business-woman--who epitomizes the struggles and freedoms of women in 20th-century America, as they first began to believe they could live full lives and demanded to do so. World War II offered women the opportunity to contribute to the work of the country, and Nancy Batson Crews was one woman who made the most of her privileged beginnings and youthful talents and opportunities.

In love with flying from the time she first saw Charles Lindbergh in Birmingham, (October 1927), Crews began her aviation career in 1939 as one of only five young women chosen for Civilian Pilot Training at the University of Alabama. Later, Crews became the 20th woman of 28 to qualify as an "Original" Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) pilot, employed during World War II shuttling P-38, P-47, and P-51 high-performance aircrafts from factory to staging areas and to and from maintenance and training sites. Before the war was over, 1,102 American women would qualify to fly Army airplanes. Many of these female pilots were forced out of aviation after the war as males returning from combat theater assignments took over their roles. But Crews continued to fly, from gliders to turbojets to J-3 Cubs, in a postwar career that began in California and then resumed in Alabama.

The author was a freelance journalist looking to write about the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) when she met an elderly, but still vital, Nancy Batson Crews. The former aviatrix held a reunion of the surviving nine WAFS for an interview with them and Crews, recording hours of her own testimony and remembrance before Crews's death from cancer in 2001. After helping lead the fight in the '70s for WASP to win veteran status, it was fitting that Nancy Batson Crews was buried with full military honors.
See More
4
Flight Strategies of Migrating Hawks
by Paul Kerlinger
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Hawks fly at very high altitudes, sometimes over water, and thus their flight behavior and migration patterns are extremely difficult to study. Now, based on nearly ten years of research, this book provides the most complete analysis to date of how hawks migrate. Paul Kerlinger has employed both direct observations and radar techniques to obtain a much more accurate understanding of the migratory behavior of hawks and the "decisions" they make in flight. And, he has integrated data on the flight behavior of raptors in general with information about their ecology, physiology, evolution, and nonmigratory behavior.

Kerlinger begins with an overview, discussing ecology and geography, research methods, natural history, and evolution, and atmospheric structure. He then addresses specific aspects of flight behavior: aerodynamics, morphology, mechanics, direction, altitude, flocking, water crossing, speed selection, daily distance traveled, and flight strategies. Kerlinger describes each aspect of behavior quantitatively, testing mechanistic hypotheses. In conclusion, he examines how migrants integrate these behavioral components. Throughout the text he draws comparisons between the migratory flight behavior of hawks and that of other taxa. By means of such comparisons, researchers can gain insight into the selective pressures that shape the behavior of migrant species.
See More
5
Buying the Night Flight
by Georgie Anne Geyer
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Buying the Night Flight is Georgie Anne Geyer's retelling of her thrilling rise from cub reporter to foreign correspondent as she made her way into the male-dominated world of journalism. Geyer transports the reader to Guatemala, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, and Cambodia, recounting the history and politics, adventure and exhaustion of the time from a truly unique perspective. Told with brilliance and dead-on honesty, this book vividly captures the triumphs of a determined and talented young reporter.
See More
6
Butterflies
edited by Carol L. Boggs, Ward B. Watt and Paul R. Ehrlich
University of Chicago Press, 2003
In Butterflies: Ecology and Evolution Taking Flight, the world's leading experts synthesize current knowledge of butterflies to show how the study of these fascinating creatures as model systems can lead to deeper understanding of ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes in general. The twenty-six chapters are organized into broad functional areas, covering the uses of butterflies in the study of behavior, ecology, genetics and evolution, systematics, and conservation biology. Especially in the context of the current biodiversity crisis, this book shows how results found with butterflies can help us understand large, rapid changes in the world we share with them—for example, geographic distributions of some butterflies have begun to shift in response to global warming, giving early evidence of climate change that scientists, politicians, and citizens alike should heed.

The first international synthesis of butterfly biology in two decades, Butterflies: Ecology and Evolution Taking Flight offers students, scientists, and amateur naturalists a concise overview of the latest developments in the field. Furthermore, it articulates an exciting new perspective of the whole group of approximately 15,000 species of butterflies as a comprehensive model system for all the sciences concerned with biodiversity and its preservation.

Contributors:
Carol L. Boggs, Paul M. Brakefield, Adriana D. Briscoe, Dana L. Campbell, Elizabeth E. Crone, Mark Deering, Henri Descimon, Erika I. Deinert, Paul R. Ehrlich, John P. Fay, Richard ffrench-Constant, Sherri Fownes, Lawrence E. Gilbert, André Gilles, Ilkka Hanski, Jane K. Hill, Brian Huntley, Niklas Janz, Greg Kareofelas, Nusha Keyghobadi, P. Bernhard Koch, Claire Kremen, David C. Lees, Jean-François Martin, Antónia Monteiro, Paulo César Motta, Camille Parmesan, William D. Patterson, Naomi E. Pierce, Robert A. Raguso, Charles Lee Remington, Jens Roland, Ronald L. Rutowski, Cheryl B. Schultz, J. Mark Scriber, Arthur M. Shapiro, Michael C. Singer, Felix Sperling, Curtis Strobeck, Aram Stump, Chris D. Thomas, Richard VanBuskirk, Hans Van Dyck, Richard I. Vane-Wright, Ward B. Watt, Christer Wiklund, and Mark A. Willis
See More
7
Why Dogs Stopped Flying
by Kenneth Brewer
Utah State University Press, 2006
The solid rightness of image after image in Ken Brewer’s poetry was never better than in Why Dogs Stopped Flying. His familiar style is plain-spoken, his humor reliable and
self-ironic.  Yet, in this collection perhaps more than his earlier work, the particularity of the poet’s insight into the physical world and the warmth of his affection for it combine
to create an unexpected transcendence. Beasts and bodies are transformed in his lines, and our dim, unremarkable lives on this shadowed earth become somehow more
luminous—small words to the moon, small suns opening in the dark.
See More
8
Prairie Sky
by W. Scott Olsen
University of Missouri Press, 2013

“It’s almost like ballet. Preflight. Starting. Warm-up. The voices from the control tower—the instructions. Taxiing. The rush down the runway. Airborne. There are names for every move. The run-up. Position and hold. Every move needs to be learned, practiced, made so familiar you feel the patterns in every other thing you do. It’s technical, yes. But there is a grace to getting metal and bone into the sky.”

Prairie Sky is a celebration of curiosity and a book for explorers. In this collection of contemplative essays, Scott Olsen invites readers to view the world from a pilot’s seat, demonstrating how, with just a little bit of altitude, the world changes, new relationships become visible, and new questions seem to rise up from the ground.

Whether searching for the still-evident shores of ancient lakes, the dustbowl-era shelterbelt supposed to run the length of the country, or the even more elusive understandings of physics and theology, Olsen shares the unique perspective and insight allowed to pilots.

Prairie Sky explores the reality as well as the metaphor of flight: notions of ceaseless time and boundless space, personal interior and exterior vision, social history, meteorology, and geology. Olsen takes readers along as he chases a new way of looking at the physical world and wonders aloud about how the whole planet moves in interconnected ways not visible from the ground. While the northern prairie may call to mind images of golden harvests and summer twilight such images do not define the region. The land bears marks left by gut-shaking thunderstorms, hard-frozen rivers, sweeping floods, and hurricane-size storms. Olsen takes to the midwestern sky to confront the ordinary world and reveals the magic--the wondrous and unique sights visible from the pilot’s seat of a Cessna.

Like Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic work Wind, Sand and Stars, Olsen’s Prairie Sky reveals the heart of what it means to fly. In the grand romantic tradition of the travel essay, it opens the dramatic paradoxes of self and collective, linear and circular, the heart and the border.

See More
9
Flying Out of this World
by Peter Greenaway
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Flights of fancy and fear, ecstatic highs, dreadful falls, and beckoning skies: these are the images British filmmaker Peter Greenaway collects and dissects in Flying out of This World, the second volume in a series developed by the Louvre and devoted to innovative writing on the visual arts.

As guest curator, Greenaway selected from the Louvre's collection of European prints and drawings ninety-one masterpieces that illustrate the human longing for flight. Greenaway's text, a compilation of brief commentaries that combine description, allusion, and interpretation, illuminate the images as depictions of flight desired and denied. Including works by Redon, Goya, Brueghel, Michelangelo, Mantegna, Rubens, Poussin, and Delacroix, this volume offers a combination of literary and visual art, of sight and insight.

A pursuit through the Bible, classical mythology, cosmology, theology, etymology, ornithology, and meteorology, Flying out of This World is not just an illustrated history of imagined flight, but a meditation on its meaning as a metaphor for the human condition, caught between a weighty body and a soaring spirit.
See More
10
The American Way of Bombing
edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue
Cornell University Press, 2014

Aerial bombardment remains important to military strategy, but the norms governing bombing and the harm it imposes on civilians have evolved. The past century has seen everything from deliberate attacks against rebellious villagers by Italian and British colonial forces in the Middle East to scrupulous efforts to avoid "collateral damage" in the counterinsurgency and antiterrorist wars of today. The American Way of Bombing brings together prominent military historians, practitioners, civilian and military legal experts, political scientists, philosophers, and anthropologists to explore the evolution of ethical and legal norms governing air warfare.

Focusing primarily on the United States—as the world's preeminent military power and the one most frequently engaged in air warfare, its practice has influenced normative change in this domain, and will continue to do so—the authors address such topics as firebombing of cities during World War II; the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the deployment of airpower in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya; and the use of unmanned drones for surveillance and attacks on suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and elsewhere.

Contributors: Tami Davis Biddle, U.S. Army War College; Sahr Conway-Lanz, Yale University Library; Neta C. Crawford, Boston University; Janina Dill, University of Oxford; Charles J. Dunlap Jr., Duke University; Matthew Evangelista, Cornell University; Charles Garraway, University of Essex; Hugh Gusterson, George Mason University; Richard W. Miller, Cornell University; Mary Ellen O’Connell, University of Notre Dame; Margarita H. Petrova, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals; Klem Ryan, United Nations, South Sudan; Henry Shue, University of Oxford

See More
11
The Airplane in American Culture
edited by Dominick A. Pisano
University of Michigan Press, 2003
Few journeys have had as great an impact on American culture as Orville Wright's first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903—a twelve-second, one-hundred-twenty-foot trip that has captivated American thought and influenced American life ever since.
Although countless books for aviation buffs have appeared since World War II, none has attempted to place the airplane in its full social, cultural, and interdisciplinary context until now. The first book of its kind, The Airplane in American Culture presents essays by distinguished contributors including historians, literary scholars, scholars of American studies, art historians, and museum professionals that explore a range of topics, including the connections between flying and race and gender; aviation's role in forming perceptions of the landscape; the airplane's significance to the culture of war; and the influence of flight on literature and art.
A must-read collection for anyone fascinated by the airplane, The Airplane in American Culture represents a dramatic new approach to writing the history of aviation, and makes an important contribution to American social and cultural history.
Dominick A. Pisano is Curator of the Aeronautics Department at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See More
12
Bird Migration and Global Change
by George W. Cox
Island Press, 2010
Changes in seasonal movements and population dynamics of migratory birds in response to ongoing changes resulting from global climate changes are a topic of great interest to conservation scientists and birdwatchers around the world. Because of their dependence on specific habitats and resources in different geographic regions at different phases of their annual cycle, migratory species are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
 
In Bird Migration and Global Change, eminent ecologist George W. Cox brings his extensive experience as a scientist and bird enthusiast to bear in evaluating the capacity of migratory birds to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.
 
Cox reviews, synthesizes, and interprets recent and emerging science on the subject, beginning with a discussion of climate change and its effect on habitat, and followed by eleven chapters that examine responses of bird types across all regions of the globe. The final four chapters address the evolutionary capacity of birds, and consider how best to shape conservation strategies to protect migratory species in coming decades.
 
The rate of climate change is faster now than at any other moment in recent geological history. How best to manage migratory birds to deal with this challenge is a major conservation issue, and Bird Migration and Global Change is a unique and timely contribution to the literature.
 
See More
13
The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation
by Daniel J. Lebbin, Michael J. Parr and George H. Fenwick
foreword by Jonathan Franzen
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Whether we live in cities, in the suburbs, or in the country, birds are ubiquitous features of daily life, so much so that we often take them for granted. But even the casual observer is aware that birds don’t fill our skies in the number they once did. That awareness has spawned conservation action that has led to notable successes, including the recovery of some of the nation’s most emblematic species, such as the Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon. Despite this, a third of all American bird species are in trouble—in many cases, they’re in imminent danger of extinction. The most authoritative account ever published of the threats these species face, The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation will be the definitive book on the subject.

The Guide presents for the first time anywhere a classification system and threat analysis for bird habitats in the United States, the most thorough and scientifically credible assessment of threats to birds published to date, as well as a new list of birds of conservation concern. Filled with beautiful color illustrations and original range maps, the Guide is a timely, important, and inspiring reference for birders and anyone else interested in conserving North America’s avian fauna. But this book is far more than another shout of crisis. The Guide also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. Ultimately, it is an argument for hope. Whether you spend your early weekend mornings crouched in silence with binoculars in hand, hoping to check another species off your list, or you’ve never given much thought to bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.

See More
14
Click here to go to the beginning.