"Scott Palmer has given us a remarkably original survey of Russia's aeronautical development between 1909 and 1989 that artfully combines political, technological, military, and above all cultural history into a rich mosaic that yields surprising insights into Russia's attempt to match and overtake its Western rivals."
Robert Wohl, University of California, Los Angeles
"Palmer's interesting ,well-illustrated book is a cultural history of aviation in Russia from late czarist days through the horrors of Stalin and WWII."
"Palmer's book is beautifully illustarted and provides the reader with much to think about regarding the place of the airplane in Russian and Soviet culture, society and politics. He does a fine job of fleshing out the continuities between the imperial and Soviet aviation industries." - Steven Maddox, University of Toronto
"Palmer is to be commended for integrating aviation into a wider cultural and political context. In contrast to more traditional aviation histories, Palmer's account teases out the connections between culture, politics, and the development of the technology. In the process, he illustrates that no history of modern Russia can be considered complete without an account of the history of Russian aviation." - Andrew Jenks, California State University, Long Beach
"[a] welcome book...Palmer provides an impressively detailed account of Russia's aviation history up to the end of World War II." - Drew Whitelegg, Emory University, The Journal of Transport History
"In a masterful book, Scott Palmer weaves the rhetoric and reality of Russian aviation from its tsarist start through its Communist rise and collapse. [He] has both provided an excellent study and opened another revealing window into a modernizing Russia." -Jonathan Coopersmith, Journal of Modern History
Focusing on one of the last untold chapters in the history of human flight, Dictatorship of the Air is the first book to explain the true story behind twentieth-century Russia's quest for aviation prominence. Based on nearly a decade of scholarly research, but written with general readers in mind, this is the only account to answer the question "What is 'Russian' about Russian aviation?"
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