Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight Paperback – June 16, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"A compelling and touching account." -- Christian Science Monitor
"As Hoffman so brilliantly tells the story . . . Santos-Dumot truly was a man like few others . . . a delight." -- Simon Winchester, New York Times
"Thorough and impressive . . . stylish and well-paced." -- Los Angeles Times
"[Hoffman's] compassionate and colorful account . . . is likely to stand as the definitive biography of this . . . aeronautical pioneer." -- San Francisco Chronicle
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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But I found it interesting that in the notes at the end the author mentions that he had never heard of Santos Dumont until someone suggested he write the book. Yikes! Every kid who's ever drooled over a catalog of model airplanes has come across the Demoiselle. And therein lies a minor problem with this otherwise delightful book, a problem for those of us most hungry for knowledge about this pioneer aviator: Hoffman skimps on the details of the airships and esp. the Demoiselle.
How can you write a book about a pioneer inventor without any clear drawings of the inventions? The Demoiselle in particular gets short shrift. I mean this plane still exists, can't we learn a little more about how it works? Or get a nice photo of it?
So we are still waiting for a more technical book on Santos Dumont's inventions, but this book certainly covers the man himself, and it's fascinating.
Paul Hoffman's seamless account of Santos-Dumont's life and career follows the aviator from his childhood on his father's coffee plantation to his sad death in 1932. Always somewhat tormented--Santos craved the adoration his pioneering exploits won for him--he ended his days apparently guilt-ridden over the lethal use to which airplanes--which were to his mind his own invention--were being put.
Hoffman's well-written book is fascinating for its invocation of a lost world. The author is to be applauded, too, for bringing the flamboyant, troubled Santos-Dumont once again to the attention of the public.
Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
Oh, and Hyperion Press should be flayed for the horrible fake cover picture they photoshopped for this book. To decorate a carefully researched history book with a ridiculous lie is an insult to the author and the readers.
Most recent customer reviews
Where to even start? Wow! What a great read! I had never heard of Santos-Dumont before reading this book.Read more