Author: Lauren Kessler
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-12-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Pancho Barnes was a force of nature, a woman who lived a big, messy, colorful, unconventional life. She ran through three fortunes, four husbands, and countless lovers. She outflew Amelia Earhart, outsmarted Howard Hughes, outdrank the Mexican Army, and out- maneuvered the U.S. government. In The Happy Bottom Riding Club, award-winning author Lauren Kessler tells the story of a high-spirited, headstrong woman who was proud of her successes, unabashed by her failures, and the architect of her own legend. Florence "Pancho" Barnes was a California heiress who inherited a love of flying from her grandfather, a pioneer balloonist in the Civil War. Faced with a future of domesticity and upper-crust pretensions, she ran away from her responsibilities as wife and mother to create her own life. She cruised South America. She trekked through Mexico astride a burro. She hitchhiked halfway across the United States. Then, in the late 1920s, she took to the skies, one of a handful of female pilots. She was a barnstormer, a racer, a cross-country flier, and a Hollywood stunt pilot. She was, for a time, "the fastest woman on earth," flying the fastest civilian airplane in the world. She was an intimate of movie stars, a script doctor for the great director Erich von Stroheim, and, later in life, a drinking buddy of the supersonic jet jockey Chuck Yeager. She ran a wild and wildly successful desert watering hole known as the Happy Bottom Riding Club, the raucous bar and grill depicted in The Right Stuff. In The Happy Bottom Riding Club, Lauren Kessler presents a portrait, both authoritative and affectionate, of a woman who didn't play by women's rules, a woman of large appetites--emotional, financial, and sexual--who called herself "the greatest conversation piece that ever existed." From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Barbara Hunter Schultz
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Women air pilots
PANCHO BARNES was one of aviation's most colorful members. Her alliance with aviation was sometimes outlandish, sometimes exemplary, but always dedicated. The granddaughter of famous balloonist Professor Thaddeus Lowe, PANCHO barnstormed her way through the early days of flight. She flew in the 1929 Powder Puff Derby & captured the women's speed record in 1930. Her peers recognized her for her competency in the air & her unequivocal generosity on the ground. Counted among PANCHO's friends were Jimmy Doolittle, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, & Chuck Yeager. History credits PANCHO with the formation of both the Women's Air Reserve & the Association of Motion Picture Pilots. PANCHO's Happy Bottom riding club, next door to Edwards Air Force Base in California, became the ultimate debriefing room in the '50s. Hundred of test pilots, those with the 'right stuff', let off steam at PANCHO's - & mingled with her beautiful hostesses. When the Air Force expanded, they branded her a 'madam' & her club, a house of prostitution. PANCHO sued the government for slander & vindicated her good name. PANCHO's story is spun with treks through primitive jungles, fast living, & a renown elocution of profanity. She was a unique, one-of-a-kind character who became a 'legend' in her own time. To order contact: Little Buttes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 2043, Lancaster, CA 93539; (805) 948-0577.
Communists vilified her as a raging neurotic. Leftists dismissed her as a confused idealist. Her family pitied her as an exploited lover. Some said she was a traitor, a stooge, a mercenary and a grandstander. To others she was a true American heroine—fearless, principled, bold and resolute. Congressional committees loved her. The FBI hailed her as an avenging angel. The Catholics embraced her. But the fact is, more than half a century after she captured the headlines as the "Red Spy Queen," Elizabeth Bentley remains a mystery. New England-born, conservatively raised, and Vassar-educated, Bentley was groomed for a quiet life, a small life, which she explored briefly in the 1920s as a teacher, instructing well-heeled young women on the beauty of Romance languages at an east coast boarding school. But in her mid-twenties, she rejected both past and future and set herself on an entirely new course. In the 1930s she embraced communism and fell in love with an undercover KGB agent who initiated her into the world of espionage. By the time America plunged into WWII, Elizabeth Bentley was directing the operations of the two largest spy rings in America. Eventually, she had eighty people in her secret apparatus, half of them employees of the federal government. Her sources were everywhere: in the departments of Treasury and Commerce, in New Deal agencies, in the top-secret OSS (the precursor to the CIA), on Congressional committees, even in the Oval Office. When she defected in 1945 and told her story—first to the FBI and then at a series of public hearings and trials—she was catapulted to tabloid fame as the "Red Spy Queen," ushering in, almost single-handedly, the McCarthy Era. She was the government’s star witness, the FBI’s most important informer, and the darling of the Catholic anti-Communist movement. Her disclosures and accusations put a halt to Russian spying for years and helped to set the tone of American postwar political life. But who was she? A smart, independent woman who made her choices freely, right and wrong, and had the strength of character to see them through? Or was she used and manipulated by others? Clever Girl is the definitive biography of a conflicted American woman and her controversial legacy. Set against the backdrop of the political drama that defined mid-twentieth century America, it explores the spy case whose explosive domestic and foreign policy repercussions have been debated for decades but not fully revealed—until now.
A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen. As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.
Winner of the Author's Club Best First Novel Award A Finalist for the East Anglian Book Award for Fiction “The Last Pilot made me cry and brought back all my old Right Stuff feels. A brilliant debut. I loved it.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk Jim Harrison is a test pilot in the United States Air Force, one of the exalted few. He spends his days cheating death in the skies above the Mojave Desert and his nights at his friend Pancho’s bar, often with his wife, Grace. She and Harrison are secretly desperate for a child, and when, unexpectedly, Grace learns that she is pregnant, the two are overjoyed. America becomes swept up in the fervor of the Space Race, while Harrison turns his attention home to welcome his daughter, Florence, into the world. But as he and Grace confront thrills and challenges of parenthood, they are met with sudden tragedy. The aftermath will haunt the Harrisons and strain their marriage, as Jim struggles to make life-and-death decisions under circumstances that are altogether new. Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock is the mesmerizing story of a couple’s crisis of faith—in themselves, and in each another—and the limits they test to rediscover it.
In 1903, Masuo Yasui came to America and eventually became a successful orchardist and father of eight children. But the "relocation" of Japanese Americans during World War II caused Yasui to take his own life. The Yasui family opened its records and memories to Lauren Kessler, who writes a social history that rings with truth and drama. Photographs.
Author: Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2008-03-04
From "America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review) Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.
Brooke and Mary Rose are best friends. Brooke is the mother of a six-month-old. Mary Rose is pregnant. Brooke is married to Lyle, though, at times, she wonders why. Mary Rose would be married if Ward, the father of her child, weren’t already. Ward and Brooke are cousins… A comedy of manners and biology, Karbo gives a laugh-out-loud look at the wonders of pregnancy and motherhood. It is a world where the women are fierce and strong and the men duck and cover; a world that is turned upside down when the expecting mother turns out a most unexpected child. Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me celebrates the courage and strength of women and the bonds that join them “in the motherhood.”
Best-selling author Lauren Kessler offers insights on the art of writing and the joys of reading that are provocative and heartening, thoughtful and funny, reassuring and real. Kessler distills lessons from a 25-year career to inspire writers to embrace challenges, push through the tough stuff and love the life they've chosen.
Author: John H. Alt
Release Date: 2013-02-12
Genre: Adventure and adventureres
"He knew many people who would not fit in the handy boxes society offered them. Paul Mooney sailed across the Pacific with him in a Chinese junk. Moye Stephens flew as a stunt pilot in Howard Hughes's silent movies. Elly Beinhorn was Germany's Amelia Earhart. Pancho Barnes founded the Happy Bottom Riding Club. He met history-makers like Lenin's widow and the man who shot the Czar and many others. Richard Halliburton was a maverick, a rebel, in an America coming of age in the world. He couldn't see himself fitting into that America, although he was very much its product with his can-do attitude and his things-will-get-better belief. For all that, he was a round peg with nothing but square holes awaiting him as he reached adulthood. He could not see things the way most people saw them. His parents wanted him to play by the rules, to live an even tenor, and he scorned the rules, especially the phrase "even tenor." He said no to their even tenor and in doing so he turned his back on an America that held those values. Despite having little respect for the rules, he became wildly successful because his life was wildly improbable as a travel-adventure writer. Because he dared, he became an icon of his era, more famous in his day than Amelia Earhart, with farmers' wives in Topeka, factory workers in Detroit, and newspaper boys in Cleveland buying his books." -- Book cover.
Author: C. Michael Hiam
Publisher: ForeEdge from University Press of New England
Release Date: 2014-10-07
Here is the story of airshipsÑmanmade flying machines without wingsÑfrom their earliest beginnings to the modern era of blimps. In postcards and advertisements, the sleek, silver, cigar-shaped airships, or dirigibles, were the embodiment of futuristic visions of air travel. They immediately captivated the imaginations of people worldwide, but in less than fifty years dirigibleÊbecame a byword for doomed futurism, an Icarian figure of industrial hubris. Dirigible Dreams looks back on this bygone era, when the future of exploration, commercial travel, and warfare largely involved the prospect of wingless flight. In Dirigible Dreams, C. Michael Hiam celebrates the legendary figures of this promising technology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesÑthe pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the doomed polar explorers S. A. AndrŽe and Walter Wellman, and the great Prussian inventor and promoter Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, among otherÊpivotal figuresÑand recounts fascinating stories of exploration, transatlantic journeys, and floating armadas that rained death during World War I. While there were triumphs, such as the polar flight of the Norge, most of these tales are of disaster and woe, culminating in perhaps the most famous disaster of all time, the crash of the Hindenburg. This story of daring men and their flying machines, dreamers and adventurers who pushed modern technology toÑand often beyondÑits limitations, is an informative and exciting mix of history, technology, awe-inspiring exploits, and warfare that will captivate readers with its depiction of a lost golden age of air travel. Readable and authoritative, enlivened by colorful characters and nail-biting drama,ÊDirigible DreamsÊwill appeal to a new generation of general readers and scholars interested in the origins of modern aviation.
Author: Nick T. Spark
Release Date: 2006
Murphy's Law is one of the most well-recognized statements of philosophy known to man. Tipped off by his next door neighbor that Murphy may have worked at Edwards Air Force Base, and that the Law may have come into being after a rocket sled experiment went awry, author Nick T. Spark beings a Quixotic quest to learn the truth. His attempts to pin down the mysterious origins of The Law and to answer the eternal question, "Who was Murphy and what is the true meaning of Murphy's Law?" are both amusing and relevatory. Read it, and find out why everything you ever thought you knew about Murphy's Law -- is wrong.