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Sobre l'autor

S.C. Gwynne is a journalist who worked for Time and Texas Monthly. He has written several books including Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of mostra'n més Stonewall Jackson. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys
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Obres de S. C. Gwynne


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All I can add to the previous review is to point out that it's a well written and readable account of a disaster that was tragic in the classical sense. The story is engrossing; the characters are skilfully portrayed in their full humanity, mostly likeable but flawed individuals. The fatal flaw of hubris caused the death of the chief promoter of the scheme and so many others, thus dooming the airship program in the UK.

A plan is now being floated to design airships to ferry supplies to Canada's far north. Reading this book has made me aware of the many pitfalls awaiting the designers and backers -- and crew, if it gets that far. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.… (més)
muumi | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 9, 2023 |
recommended by LC Martin. I learned a great deal, but the details were pretty brutal at times.
pollycallahan | Hi ha 101 ressenyes més | Jul 1, 2023 |
Although I've been aware of the R101 disaster for many years now, this book couldn't have been written even ten years ago. On one hand, there was a need for modern forensic work. On the other, there was a lack of clear-headed acceptance of the bad judgement in play at the time of the disaster, which prevented a more hard-headed analysis. This is with the additional problem that the serious critics (men such as Barnes Wallis & Neville Shute, who were in competition with the team building R101), were obviously prejudiced. That brings us to this work, and Gwynne is not prepared to pull any punches, coming from the starting position that the big dirigibles were always impractical death traps, but survived on being icons of nationalistic endeavor, at least until there was no denying that the airplane had surpassed them. This is really not news.

What hasn't been widely advertised in a credible form is just how dubious the R100 and the R101 were in terms of being viable enterprises that one could depend on, never mind being the linchpins of a global transportation system tying the British Empire together. Whereas as the great engineer Barnes Wallis scoffed at the men building the R101, his own R100 wasn't tremendously better; the machines were just too fragile to accomplish what was demanded of them. However, the most blame has to attach to Lord Christopher Thompson, as the responsible official. He saw airships as a potential means to preserve the British Empire, while at the same time advancing his own career. That he generally seems to have been an admirable individual doesn't really excuse that he presided over a disaster waiting to happen, and was too willing to take stupid risks for the glory of it all. Then again, taking what now look like stupid risks seems like a congenital disease with the airship enthusiasts; the R101 became the funeral pyre of the men who designed her.
… (més)
1 vota
Shrike58 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jun 17, 2023 |
This account left me feeling like I had just watched a train wreck. I wanted to find a bad guy and a good guy and instead it was a tragedy of two completely incompatible cultures colliding with only victims left in the wake. I couldn't find much sympathy for either group.
tjsjohanna | Hi ha 101 ressenyes més | Mar 26, 2023 |



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