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A Dream of Pilots

by Philip Handleman, illustrated by Craig Kodera, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, La., 2009, $14.95.

Attention parents and grandparents! Would you like to see your children and grandchildren stop watching pixels move around a screen and become motivated to fly? If so, buy a copy of Philip Handleman’s new book A Dream of Pilots and get them charged up the way you were—and still are—about flying.

Handleman has done a masterful job in condensing the stories of 21 of the world’s greatest airmen and women into short, insightful biographies that remind us just why we got into the game in the first place. He begins with Orville and Wilbur, of course, then makes very astute selections of iconic individuals who are not only aviation greats but also great role models. They include Bessie Cole – man, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle, Douglas Bader, Igor Sikorsky, Alan Shepard Jr. and many more.

You’ll enjoy reading A Dream of Pilots yourself. Craig Kodera has created a beautiful cover of a Piper Cub, along with striking illustrations of all the featured fliers. Handleman includes pilots, designers, manufacturers, explorers and astronauts, and he explains why flying was so important to them—and to us. This is probably the best investment you can make in the future of those who are most important to you.


Originally published in the September 2009 issue of Aviation History. To subscribe, click here