Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight

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9780786885718: Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight

Now in paperback, an "unforgettably good book [told] with compassion and sympathy" (Simon Winchester, New York Times) about an eccentric aviator and the thrilling early days of flight.

>From Paul Hoffman, the acclaimed author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, comes this engaging true story of the man who was once hailed worldwide as the conqueror of the air -- Alberto Santos-Dumont. Because the Wright brothers worked in secrecy, word of their first flights had not reached Europe when Santos-Dumont took to the skies in 1906. The dashing and impeccably dressed aeronaut stunned and delighted Paris, barhopping around the city in a one-man dirigible he invented, circling above crowds and crashing into rooftops.

Yet Santos-Dumont was a frenzied genius tortured by the weight of his own creation. Wings of Madness is a riveting, brilliantly told story of this tormented man who helped to usher in the modern age and who epitomized the increasingly tortured spirit of the twentieth century -- it is elegant, fascinating, and deeply moving.

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About the Author:

Paul Hoffman was president of Encyclopedia Britannica and editor-in-chief of Discover. and is the author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers and The Wings of Madness. He is the winner of the first National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, Time, and Atlantic Monthly. He lives in Woodstock, NY.

From Publishers Weekly:

This thoroughly entertaining history of one of the currently overlooked heroes from early-20th-century aviation equals that of Hoffman's earlier volume, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. Almost unknown today except in his native Brazil (where he is a revered figure), Alberto Santos-Dumont was known throughout the world as "a maverick among contemporary aeronauts." Obsessed with the idea of flight from an early age, Santos-Dumont (1873-1932) was an eccentric genius whose inherited wealth allowed him to live in luxury in fin-de-siecle Paris, at first working on ballooning. After designing small, cigar-shaped, engine-powered vehicles, which he used for everything from traveling around Paris to circling the Eiffel Tower, he soon became one of the best-known men in the city. Later he built "the world's first sports plane." Hoffman expertly recaptures from the historical dustbin the many facets of this unique character who befriended the Rothschilds and Cartiers, ran in the same crowd as Marcel Proust and devoted his life to a singular passion unmatched even by the obsessive Wright Brothers during the early days of aviation, "a time when the vast majority of Europeans and Americans had not yet traveled along the ground in an automobile."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Paul Hoffman
Editorial: Hyperion (2004)
ISBN 10: 0786885718 ISBN 13: 9780786885718
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Descripción Hyperion, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0786885718

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Paul Hoffman
Editorial: Hyperion (2004)
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Hoffman, Paul
Editorial: Hyperion (2004)
ISBN 10: 0786885718 ISBN 13: 9780786885718
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