Travel writer Julia Cooke's exhilarating portrait of Pan Am stewardesses in the Mad Men era.
At a time when that 1960s notion of air travel as decadent and exceptional is experiencing an unexpected revival, this book … could be the G&T in a plastic glass you need.' - The Spectator
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.
Julia Cooke is a journalist, travel writer and contributing editor at Virginia Quarterly Review. Her work has featured in Time, Conde Nast Traveller, Salon and Best Women's Travel Writing (Vol. 9), among many others, and she has taught writing at The New School and Columbia University. Her first book, The Other Side of Paradise (Seal Press) profiled young Cubans in post-Fidel Havana. Cooke's writing shows a persistent interest in how people-and women, in particular-negotiate individual desires and ambitions within the culture, history, and politics of wherever they call home. She lives in Vermont.
Paperback - B format
Social & cultural history