Come Fly the World (Hardback)
The Women of Pan Am at War and Peace
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** Chosen as a May 2021 pick for The Fearless Book Club by Nobel Peace Prize–Winner, Malala Yousafzai **
Travel writer Julia Cooke’s exhilarating portrait of Pan Am stewardesses in the Mad Men era.
Glamour, danger, liberation: in the Jet Age, Pan Am offered young women the world. Come Fly the World tells the story of the stewardesses who served on the iconic Pan American Airways between 1966 and 1975 – and of the unseen diplomatic role they played on the world stage.
Alongside the glamour was real danger, as they flew soldiers to and from Vietnam and staffed Operation Babylift – the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon. Cooke’s storytelling weaves together the true stories of women like Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few African American stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of a jet-set life.
In the process, Cooke shows how the sexualized coffee-tea-or-me stereotype was at odds with the importance of what they did, and with the freedom, power and sisterhood they achieved.
‘This engrossing account, which reads like a novel, offers a combination of riveting personal stories and little-known history, and will draw in readers from the first page.’
‘Here’s the chance to travel—in time and in the sky—vicariously. Julia Cooke’s intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life tales of a memorable cast of Pan Am flight attendants as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life. The nonfiction work also unearths little-known stories about how Pan Am flight attendants went above and beyond, including their role in the Vietnam War.’