Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation

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Potomac Books, Incorporated, 2003 - History - 315 pages
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Before Amelia is the remarkable story of the world's women pioneer aviators who braved the skies during the early days of flight. While most books have only examined the women aviators of a single country, Eileen Lebow looks at an international spectrum of pilots and their influence on each other. The story begins with Raymonde de Laroche, a French woman who became the first licensed female pilot in 1909. De Laroche, Lydia Zvereva, Melli Beese, Hilda Hewlitt, Harriet Quimby, and the other women pilots profiled here rose above contemporary gender stereotypes and proved their ability to fly the temperamental heavier-than-air contraptions of the day.

Lebow provides excellent descriptions of the dangers and challenges of early flight. Crashes and broken bones were common, and many of the pioneers lost their lives. But these women were adventurers at heart. In an era when women's professional options were severely limited and the mere sight of ladies wearing pants caused a sensation, these women succeeded as pilots, flight instructors, airplane designers, stunt performers, and promoters. This book fills a large void in the history of the first two decades of flight.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rreis - LibraryThing

Written in a journalistic tone, with enthusiasm, this book is about the women that flew before 1916. In a side note, it gives abundant detail and insight about training methods and aviation life on ... Read full review

Before Amelia: women pilots in the early days of aviation

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the early days of aviation, the Wright Brothers refused to sell their airplanes to women because, in their opinion, women lacked the requisite "coolness and judgment" to fly. Despite such ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Eileen F. Lebow is an author and former teacher. Her previous books includeCal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz: The First Transcontinental Flight and A Grandstand Seat: The Army Balloon Corps in World War I. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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