Title: The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking
Author: Brendan I. Koerner
Publish Date: June 18, 2013
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In an America torn apart by the Vietnam War and the demise of sixties idealism, airplane hijackings were astonishingly routine. Over a five-year period starting in 1968, the desperate and disillusioned seized commercial jets nearly once a week, using guns, bombs, and jars of acid. Some hijackers wished to escape to foreign lands, where they imagined being hailed as heroes; others aimed to swap hostages for sacks of cash. Their criminal exploits mesmerized the country, never more so than when the young lovers at the heart of Brendan I. Koerner's "The Skies Belong to Us" pulled off the longest-distance hijacking in American history."
My Two Cents:
"The Skies Belong to Us" is a stranger than fiction tale of one couple named Roger and Kathy who commandeered a airliner and sort of, kind of, maybe did it as a loose protest against the Vietnam War. These days, with all of their security at an airport, a plane hijacking would be huge news because it just never really happens anymore. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, plane hijacking was actually a relatively frequent thing, all things considered (scary!!!). Hijackings were done for different reasons and this book explores some of those reasons as well as the way the occurrence of these hijackings lead to both airline companies (although they went grudgingly) and passengers wanting more security.
I was in high school during 9/11 and now I don't blink an eye at all of the security at airports. Now it's hard for me to imagine not having to go through a metal detector or not having to take off my shoes and take every single thing electronic item out of my bag. There was a time during early commercial aviation when it was just becoming feasible for many people to travel via airlines where security was not really a concern. This book explores that time. It was so interesting for me to see how different things once were. So this story is about Cathy and Roger but it's also about the business of flying in general.
The story of Roger and Kathy is just absolutely crazy! Again as I mentioned before, this is definitely one of those stranger than fiction stories where you can hardly believe that these two people who really didn't seem to know what they were doing got away with something massive. The book follows them from their planning stage to when they actually hijacked a plane to what they did after. I was both entertained and educated by this book and I think it will really appeal to my fellow history lovers who like their history to little bit strange and a little bit off the beaten path.