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    Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air (Hardback) By (author) Richard Holmes

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    Description**"Kirkus" Best Books of the Year (2013)** **"Time Magazine" 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013** **"The New Republic" Best Books of 2013** In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling "The Age of Wonder," follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell. His accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar are dramatic and exhilarating. Holmes documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose) seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, "Falling Upwards" explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision. (With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

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  • Full bibliographic data for Falling Upwards

    Falling Upwards
    How We Took to the Air
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Richard Holmes
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 404
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 38 mm
    Weight: 839 g
    ISBN 13: 9780307379665
    ISBN 10: 0307379663

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: PDX
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T12.6
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC E4L: TRA
    BIC subject category V2: WGM
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: TBX, TRP
    B&T Merchandise Category: SCI
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 16100
    BISAC V2.8: TEC056000, SCI034000
    Ingram Subject Code: SL
    Libri: I-SL
    B&T General Subject: 790
    BISAC V2.8: TRV001000, TEC002000, TRA002010
    B&T Approval Code: A35500800
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    DC22: 387.73209, 387.7/3209
    LC classification: TL616 .H65 2013
    LC subject heading:
    DC21: 387.73209
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations, black & white plates, colour plates
    Pantheon Books
    Imprint name
    Pantheon Books
    Publication date
    29 October 2013
    Author Information
    RICHARD HOLMES is the author of "The Age of Wonder, " which was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books and the National Books Critics Circle Award, and was one of "The New York Times Book Review"'s Best Books of the Year in 2009. Holmes's other books include "Footsteps, Sidetracks, Shelley: The Pursuit" (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award) "Coleridge: Early Visions" (winner of the1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Award) "Coleridge: Darker Reflections "(an NBCC finalist), and "Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage" (winner of the James Tait Black Prize). He was awarded the OBE in 1992. He lives in England.
    Review quote
    **"Kirkus" Best Books of the Year (2013)** **"Time Magazine" Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2013** **"The New Republic" Best Books of 2013** "Holmes has written a book that is as compulsively digestible as the Internet, and yet it is rounder and warmer, and packed with more facts and obscure stories than you would learn if you combed the Web for months. Holmes's writing is a carnival of historical delights; at every turn there is a surprise, all adding up to a whole.... 'Falling Upwards' sneaks the trajectory of mankind into under three hundred and fifty pages, which you can read in short dashes. You may not notice it at the time, but what he is doing is changing the game." --Rachel Syme, "The New Yorker" ..".the book that gave me the most unadulterated delight this year was nonfiction, Richard Holmes's "Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air. "The book is nominally a history of the hot air balloon, but it would be more accurate to describe it as a history of hope and fantasy--and the quixotic characters who disobeyed that most fundamental laws of physics and gave humans flight." --Chloe Schama, "The New Republic, "Best Books of 2013 "Out of an ostensibly placid, dreamy activity, hot air ballooning, Holmes conjures an extraordinarily vivid, violent, thrilling history, full of bizarre personalities, narrow escapes and fatal plunges. A peerless prose artist, infectiously curious, Holmes revives such forgotten heroes as Sophie Blanchard, Napoleon's official aeronaut, and James Glaisher, who in 1862 rode a balloon to 29,000 feet without oxygen in the name of science, and Thaddeus Lowe, who flew over Civil War battlefields, doing aerial reconnaissance for the Union" --"Time Magazine," Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the 2013 "A book as delightful as it is unexpected, one that is a testament to the sheer pleasures of writing about what you know, about what excites you and what gives you joy. And what more joyous a topic than the hilarious insanit