- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (April 8, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813030439
- ISBN-13: 978-0813030432
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jackie Cochran: Pilot in the Fastest Lane 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
When asked by Amelia Earhart's husband what her ambitions were, Jackie Cochran sneered, "To put your wife in the shade." Cochran succeeded. History has proven Earhart to be the favorite, but Cochran undoubtedly was the superior pilot: determined to be not just the best woman pilot but to be the best pilot, period, she broke countless aviation records for speed, altitude and distance. In this biography, Rich (Amelia Earhart) documents the life of the first woman to break the sound barrier and who was instrumental in creating a fleet of female pilots (which she helmed) in World War II. Along the way, she also created a cosmetics company for which the motto was "Wings to Beauty." That's not to say that Cochran was always likable. She was scheming, manipulative and known to bend the truth so it would work to her advantage. Rich thoroughly researched Cochran's life, a challenge given that Cochran frequently created facts to best suit her needs (she said, for instance, that she was an orphan, a claim that has been disputed by her family). Aeronautics buffs will appreciate the details of the aircraft Cochran flew, and while the drama of Cochran's many harrowing flights and near-miss accidents is never fully realized, Rich gives Cochran her rightful place in aviation history. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cochran is an acknowledged aviation hero and certainly overdue for a critical biography. Rich has the background, having written biographies of Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman, but unfortunately Cochran was notorious for manufacturing stories about her early life and tweaking the truth. This forced Rich to alternately correct Cochran when factual evidence contradicted her published comments and cite her as the only source for other anecdotes. Although readers will forgive their subject much as she lived such a flamboyant and fascinating life, it is difficult sometimes to be sure of the facts. Rich is on firmer ground when writing about Cochran's flying accomplishments and her contribution to the war effort, all of which have been thoroughly documented. She also bravely considers the contradictions in Cochran's life, most notably her testy relationships with other female pilots. Often combative and abrasive, Cochran is a true American legend, and Rich's biography will ensure that Cochran's contributions will not be forgotten. Colleen Mondor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The first book; The stars at Noon was her first autobiography written in 1954
and her second book Jackie COchran "The autobiography of the greatest woman pilot in avaition history" written in 1987 by Maryabb bucknum brinley with help from many sources.Was the second book on Jackies life.
I have read all three, and I suggest one read them in order.
American rags to riches story of one of the few aviatrix's in american history.
ONce you pick this up, you cannot put it down.
Women as well as men will find it engrosing, and reveals true background history of americas struggle to have the best airforce in the world.
Pilots and non pilots will enjoy the small stories and successes of her most interesting life.
All three are good reads, and very inspirational for the young and old alike
Few people liked Cochran, then or now. Abrasive and domineering, she left behind a wake of enemies during her rise to fame from a dirt-poor youth. A trailblazer herself, she opposed the advancement of women in the aviation industry, saying they weren't suited for positions as airline pilots and astronauts. She was a study in contradictions.
Author Doris Rich expertly brings the story to life and clarifies the controversy surrounding Cochran's achievements and relationships.
By time I got done reading it, which was by sheer willpower alone, I was wondering what Cochrane had allegedly done to the someone the author loved or to the author herself. This whole book feel like a personal vendetta of the author's to smear Jackie as much as she possibly can. Let me go into detail about three specific areas: Jackie's marriage, the WASPs and Jackie's early life.
*Jackie's marriage*: this is the best smear job the author does. She portrays Jackie as an unfeeling wicked woman, who despite having a very ill husband Floyd, goes on and travels the world, sets new aviation milestones and carries on an active political life. The author does mention that Floyd encouraged her to do this, but she does so in a manner that you almost would not believe that Floyd said to go and do it. This and the whole book also reflects the author's negative attitude toward Jackie. She does state a time or two that they loved each other to distraction, but then carries on in her quest to show how unfeeling of a wife Jackie is in the author's view. She never goes into the real sorrow for Jackie that her inability to have children for Floyd was; she mentions the miscarriages in quick passing on her way to show how much of a horrible woman Jackie was in something else.
*The WASPs*: other than her aviation record, this unit is one of the greatest things that Jackie did in her life. It speaks to Jackie's patriotism and logical mind. Is it spoken of as an achievement? No! It is only spoken of at all as an example of how many arguments, headbutts and "unnecessarily" bruised male egos resulted from the formation and maintenance of said unit. The author does not go into any detail at all of all of the bigotry and very real office politics that Jackie had to swim uphill against to get this very patriotic unit established. All the author really mentions is the enemies Jackie made with the unit's creation and maintenance; she does not bother to tell you they were almost to the man, all male chauvinist pigs. The author only mentions the attempted takeovers of the WASPs by the WAAC, later the WAC, to show her thesis of how Jackie was a scheming woman who worked for no one's benefit but her own; she does not bother to tell the audience how much of scheming Delilah that O.C. Hobby was or that how much of a willing pawn to the male military authority she was. The author mentions only very briefly the acts of sabotage that were performed against the WASPs which resulted in far more than a few of their deaths, but she does not pursue explaining those as acts of bigotry and hate against women; no, no she cannot because that would not follow her thesis that anything that happened to anyone around Jackie was all Jackie's fault. Nothing is mentioned of the WASPs who say that Jackie bettered their lots and their futures with the creation of said unit. A couple of the WASP reunions after the war are mentioned but only in ways that reinforce the author's thesis that Jackie is nothing but a horrible woman.
*Jackie's early life*: does the author provide for a birth certificate to prove that Jackie was lying about her early life? No. It is generally accepted that Jackie may have fabricated some facts about her early life, but as to which ones, only Jackie and God will ever know. All we have, at best, is what Ira Pittman told a census taker in 1910 where he claimed Jackie as his own born in 1906. Were the Pittmans her real family? We truly do not know. All we know is that Jackie financially took care of many of them after she married Floyd; the author runs with that fact to pull out as many innuendoes as possible. With them being the only family she knew growing up, I do not see this as completely unreasonable course of action once she has money.
Those are only three of the areas in which the author carries on her personal vendetta again Jackie Cochran; she carries through this course of action throughout the volume. This book does not go into the courage and intestinal fortitude that it took Jackie Cochran to succeed and sometimes even beat the boys in what was for decades the boys club of aviation.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS BOOK!