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High-Speed Dreams

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Overview

Erik M. Conway constructs an insightful history that focuses primarily on the political and commercial factors responsible for the rise and fall of American supersonic transport research programs. Conway charts commercial supersonic research efforts through the changing relationships between international and domestic politicians, government contractors, private investors, and environmentalists. He documents post–World War II efforts at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA, and the Defense Department to generate supersonic flight technologies; European and American attempts to commercialize these technologies during the 1950s and 1960s; environmental campaigns against SST technology in the 1970s; and subsequent attempts to revitalize supersonic technology at the end of the century.

"A concise and thoroughly fascinating history of the train wreck that was the U.S. supersonic civil transport programs."— Air and Space Magazine

"Conway seems to have struck the right balance between the nuts-and-bolts of aircraft design and discussion of larger issues, particularly state support for advanced technology... An original and valuable contribution to the saga of a dream deferred."— Technology and Culture

"Conway does an excellent job of explaining the nationalism inherent in supersonic transport during the Cold War and the domestic American politics surrounding the project."— Isis

"Comprehensive and enjoyable... A cautionary tale of half-baked federal technology and economic policies high-jacking public funds for a concept aircraft that was an engineering boondoggle, a financial black hole, and an environmental fiend."— History and Technology

"[Conway's] examination of the development of supersonic aviation and the various SST programs provides a fascinating internal look at how the technology developed, while also connecting that development with the issue of the larger meaning of technology in society."— Journal of American History

Erik M. Conway serves as historian, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Of interest to historians and social scientists concerned with the politics and economics of public policy... An important book on a fascinating topic.
Technology and Culture - Virginia P. Dawson
Conway seems to have struck the right balance between the nuts-and-bolts of aircraft design and discussion of larger issues, particularly state support for advanced technology... An original and valuable contribution to the saga of a dream deferred.
Isis - Stephen G. Craft
Conway does an excellent job of explaining the nationalism inherent in supersonic transport during the Cold War and the domestic American politics surrounding the project.
History and Technology - Thomas Yates
Comprehensive and enjoyable... A cautionary tale of half-baked federal technology and economic policies high-jacking public funds for a concept aircraft that was an engineering boondoggle, a financial black hole and an environmental fiend.
Journal of American History - Andrew Baird
[Conway's] examination of the development of supersonic aviation and the various SST programs provides a fascinating internal look at how the technology developed, while also connecting that development with the issue of the larger meaning of technology in society.
Choice

Of interest to historians and social scientists concerned with the politics and economics of public policy... An important book on a fascinating topic.

Air and Space Magazine
A concise and thoroughly fascinating history of the train wreck that was the U.S. supersonic civil transport programs.
Airways
A readable narrative on the interplay between politics, technology, and economics.
Technology and Culture
Conway seems to have struck the right balance between the nuts-and-bolts of aircraft design and discussion of larger issues, particularly state support for advanced technology... An original and valuable contribution to the saga of a dream deferred.

— Virginia P. Dawson

Isis
Conway does an excellent job of explaining the nationalism inherent in supersonic transport during the Cold War and the domestic American politics surrounding the project.

— Stephen G. Craft

Satellite Evolution Group
A serious academic work... likely to interest historians and those interested in aerospace research.
History and Technology
Comprehensive and enjoyable... A cautionary tale of half-baked federal technology and economic policies high-jacking public funds for a concept aircraft that was an engineering boondoggle, a financial black hole and an environmental fiend.

— Thomas Yates

Journal of American History
[Conway's] examination of the development of supersonic aviation and the various SST programs provides a fascinating internal look at how the technology developed, while also connecting that development with the issue of the larger meaning of technology in society.

— Andrew Baird

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801890819
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Series: New Series in NASA History
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik M. Conway serves as historian, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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