Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines

( 1 )

Overview

From its earliest flights in 1926, carrying mail and occasionally a solo passenger to Chicago, to its acquisition by Delta in 2010, Northwest Airlines soared to the heights of technological achievement and business innovation—and sunk to the depths of employee discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Its story, rich in singular successes and failures, also has the sweep of the history of American business in the twentieth century. Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines captures ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$30.94
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$39.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $22.88   
  • New (13) from $25.27   
  • Used (3) from $22.88   
Sending request ...

Overview

From its earliest flights in 1926, carrying mail and occasionally a solo passenger to Chicago, to its acquisition by Delta in 2010, Northwest Airlines soared to the heights of technological achievement and business innovation—and sunk to the depths of employee discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Its story, rich in singular successes and failures, also has the sweep of the history of American business in the twentieth century. Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines captures both the broad context and the intriguing details as it weaves together the accounts of individuals who gave the airline its unique character: from founder Lewis Brittin and pioneering female executive “Rosie” Stein to the CEOs who saw the company through its glory days and its final tumultuous decade.

What was it like to pilot a crippled airliner, to be in the vanguard of the new profession of stewardess, to ride in the cabin of a luxurious Stratocruiser for the first time? These are the experiences that come alive as Jack El-Hai follows Northwest from its humble beginnings to its triumph as the envy of the airline industry and then ultimately to its decline into what aggrieved passengers and employees called “Northworst.”

Non-Stop hits the airline’s high points (such as its contributions during World War II and the Korean War) and the low—D. B. Cooper’s parachute getaway from a Northwest airliner in 1971 and a terrorist’s disruption of the airline’s last year. Touching on everything from airline food and advertising to smoking regulations and labor relations, the story of Northwest Airlines encapsulates the profound changes to business, travel, and culture that marked the twentieth century.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jack El-Hai faithfully propels us through the history of a company we all took for granted. From rickety planes delivering mail to one of the largest and most respected airlines in the world, El-Hai lays it out through the highs and lows. At the beginning, heroic pilots and primitive gear, all the way to D.B. Cooper and the Underwear Bomber, the intriguing leadership and crafty politicians, to the final day when the lights went out at Northwest Airlines—all here presented in masterful style." —Don Shelby

"[El-Hai’s] book is a concise record of aviation’s race to zoom further, faster, and ever more fashionably through the 20th century." —Wall Street Journal

"El-Hai’s narrative captures the pivotal business and political moves that allowed Northwest to grow, while also spotlighting the characters and trends of the airline’s history." —Star Tribune

"Non-Stop is not just a history of a particular airline, it is an examination of the whole airline industry. It’s a must for aviation buffs everywhere." —Chicago Tribune

"Jack El-Hai’s new book, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines, is a bright chronicle of one of the nation’s legacy airlines. Full of mid-century cool, this book soars along on a powerful slipstream of nostalgia." —Newsweek

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816674459
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2013
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 259,027
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack El-Hai’s books include Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places (Minnesota, 2000) and The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness. He has written about business and history for the Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, History Channel Magazine, American Heritage, and Utne Reader.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

1. The Romance of Aviation, the Perils of a Business

Brittin’s Brains

Airmail Follies

Pioneering Passengers

Lindbergh Brings His Lucky Name

2. No Runways, No Problem

The Mystique of Pilots

Brittin’s “Right-Hand Man”

The Tragedy of Speed

The Marco Polo of Aviation

Balancing a Tray on a Turbulent Flight

3. Pulled into the Modern Age

Security before Terrorism

Island of Quonset Huts

Escape from Shanghai

Clothing That Wears like Iron

4. Lithe Man with a Bright Smile

A New Theater of War

The Pudgy Plane That Could

The Tale of a Sword

Stormy Weather

5. Adventures in Scale and Efficiency

Hot Meals and Cold Martinis

The Red Tail

Take Me to Cuba

6. Planes Longer Than the Flight at Kitty Hawk

The Air Pirate

A Rattler of a CEO

Airlifting Propeller Shafts and Silkworms

7. One Whammy after Another

Chance Favors the Prepared Mind

The Wondrous Flight of Herman the Goose

“I Will Always Remember That You Were the First”

The End of Lives

Soaring Eagle

8. The Decade That Lasted a Lifetime

Like It or Not, the Face of Northwest

Deaths in the Family

Breaking to a Halt

9. Broke and Vanishing Fast

Mechanical Derring-do

The Underwear Bomber

Lights Out

The History of Northwest Airlines

Acknowledgments and Sources

Illustration Credits

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2013

    Steve Martin's movie ¿The Jerk¿ was billed as a ¿rags to riches

    Steve Martin's movie “The Jerk” was billed as a “rags to riches to rags” story. Perhaps that would be a good description of many US airlines, although the cycle would be repeated many times in the latter case.

    In “Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines”, author Jack El-Hai looks into the history of the Minnesota-based airline from its 1926 start as a mail carrier to its 2010 loss of identity in a merger with Delta Airlines. The book provides just the right level of detail – readers who are only looking for an overview won't pick it up, and historians looking for depth will not take a sniff at a coffee table book, even one with as much text as this one has. (Which is not to say that the book lacks illustrations; photos accompany every chapter and sidebar).

    The book is not a puff-piece promotion for the company, either. The decisions and moments that the company would not be proud of – crashes, labor issues, bankruptcy filings, and a hijacker known as Dan (D.B.) Cooper among them – get equal coverage with successful passenger / employee satisfaction ratings and profitable years.

    If you like the old-style glamor of the airlines when flying had a panache, if you like corporate histories, or if you simply want to a little more about the businesses that helped grow Minnesota, this book is recommended.

    DISCLOSURE: I was awarded this book free of charge via the Goodreads FirstReads program. While the author and publisher would probably appreciate a public review – and would really like a good review – nothing was requested or promised.

    RATING: 4 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)