A Bizarre Trend, A Captivating Read

I’m trying out a program called Blogging for Books.  It’s basically what it sounds like.  I created an account, chose a book, and it arrived at my house a few days later.  In return, I agreed to write a review.  I chose a book that a friend of mine had read and recommended to me a few months earlier.  He was right; it was awesome.

You can watch the trailer for the book:

A copy of the Book Cover and my review are below:

It’s hard to imagine a time when anyone could walk up to a plane without a ticket, enter an airport without going through a metal detector, or just generally roam around an airport without having to go through security at all.  I was born after the trend in plane hijackings had subsided, but the book does a good job of conveying how commonplace hijackings became in the late 60s and early 70s by weaving in a startling number of anecdotes woven in between a longer narrative about a Vietnam vet and his girlfriend (who was primarily concerned with what one should wear to a hijacking) who planned to free the Angela Davis, a black radical who was on trial, and escape to Vietnam.  Davis wanted nothing to do with them, and a variety of hiccups led them to ditch the rescue mission and Vietnam in favor of heading to Algiers.

The book is full of odd stories as well as philosophical insights into what might compel people to commit this particular crime in ever increasing numbers.  While this era was short lived and unlikely to ever be seen again, there is something fascinating about what hijacking a plane meant symbolically, especially to people who felt they had no other way of being heard.  It was also a little quaint and incredibly frustrating to see airlines balk at the idea of upsetting passengers by having people go through metal detectors.  As though being hijacked was preferable to having to submit to security procedures.

Because the high jackings were so common (at least once an airport had to deal with two planes being taken over on the same day), there are at times many different people to keep track of.  Occasionally, I had to stop and search for context clues to remind me who the author was talking about in a particular anecdote.  Still, this was a fun, weird read.

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