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Comment: Fine. Cloth, D-j. 2009. Originally published at $29.95.
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From Birdwomen to Skygirls: American Girls' Aviation Stories Hardcover – November 30, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


"... a remarkably comprehensive work that is also easy and enjoyable to read...

Ultimately, From Birdwomen to Skygirls is a must-read for anyone intrigued by the history of aviation, and an important addition to the study of the women's movement. He makes the connection from the first bold fliers of the 1910s to those who led the charge for change in the 1960s and 1970s. In showing how authors depicted women beginning to fly, Erisman also shows how women in general learned to spread their wings."

Bloomsbury Review
Spring 2010

(Michael G. Cornelius Bloomsbury Review 2010-04-23)

About the Author

FRED ERISMAN holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and taught for thirty-five years at Texas Christian University. He held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, during the 2002–2003 year.

A specialist in American popular literature and culture, he has published numerous studies of science fiction, technological fiction, detective and suspense fiction, and the western. Erisman is the author of Boys’ Books, Boys’ Dreams, and the Mystique of Flight. He lives in Fort Worth.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press (November 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875653979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875653976
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,074,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By L. M Young VINE VOICE on January 13, 2016
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating niche publication which talks about the early series novels for girls that involved them with aviation. As the series books of the early 20th century usually stuck girls in conventional roles, even when they ventured afield as in The Motor Girls, books like THE FLYING GIRL from the turn of the century (inspired by women aviators like Harriet Quimby), THE SKY GIRL and the Ruth Darrow books of the 1930s (inspired by Amelia Earhardt), and the Linda Carlton books of the 1940s all showed young women embracing the aviation challenge and making their mark on it despite male domination. Sadly, even after the actions of the WASPS and similar groups in World War II, girls' books went from women being pilots to women being stewardesses, a "more glamorous job" appealing to "young ladies" that thrust them again in a subservient position.

You can read many of these old aviation stories online and it's really sad to realize that role models for young women actually deteriorated as the century progressed rather than improved. If you are interesting in this history of children's literature, or the role of young women in children's literature, this is an enjoyable overview of those few series' books that did not have young women with their eyes on their "Mrs. degree."
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