Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flightby Paul Hoffman
Pub. Date: 06/16/2004
Publisher: Hachette Books
Santos-Dumont grew up on a remote coffee plantation in Brazil. Influenced at an early age by Jules Verne and historical accounts of balloon flights, Santos-Dumont set out to create the first practical flying
From the acclaimed author Paul Hoffman comes the engaging true story of Alberto Santos-Dumont's extraordinary life and the thrilling days of early flight.
Santos-Dumont grew up on a remote coffee plantation in Brazil. Influenced at an early age by Jules Verne and historical accounts of balloon flights, Santos-Dumont set out to create the first practical flying machine.
By the turn of the century, Santos-Dumont had moved to Paris. Soon, the dashing and impeccably dressed aeronaut was barhopping around the city in a one-man dirigible he had invented, circling above crowds and crashing into rooftops. He then built the first airplane in Europe and became an overnight sensation, with the press following his every move. His picture appeared on cigar boxes and dinner plates, and he dined regularly with the Cartiers, the Rothschilds, and the Roosevelts, hosting "aerial dinners" in which his guests ate at an elevated table so they could imagine how it felt to be above the world.
But all would change after Santos-Dumont witnessed the destructive capacity of flying machines in World War I.
This is the riveting story of a tormented visionary who helped usher in the modern age of technology but was ultimately driven mad by the weight of his own creation. Wings of Madness is a book that is elegant, fascinating, and deeply moving.
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Table of Contents
|Prologue: Dinner on the Ceiling Champs-Elysees, 1903||1|
|1||Arrival Minas Gerais, 1873||9|
|2||"A Most Dangerous Place for a Boy" Paris, 1891||26|
|3||First Flight Vaugirard, 1897||40|
|4||Dying for Science Paris, 1899||69|
|5||The Turkey Buzzard's Secret||90|
|6||An Afternoon in the Rothschilds' Chestnut Tree Paris, 1901||102|
|7||"It Is the Poor Who Will Suffer!" The Eiffel Tower, 1901||127|
|8||"Making Armies a Jest"||150|
|9||An Unwelcome Dip in the Mediterranean Bay of Monaco, 1902||161|
|10||"Airship Is Useless, Says Lord Kelvin" London and New York, 1902||178|
|11||The World's First Aerial Car Paris, 1903||207|
|12||A Scurrilous Stabbing and a Russian Bribe St. Louis, 1904||234|
|13||"Aeroplane Raised by Small Motor, M. Santos-Dumont Performs a Feat Never Before Attained in Europe" Paris, 1906||251|
|14||"A War of Engineers and Chemists"||278|
|15||"Cavalry of the Clouds"||292|
|16||Departure Guaruja, 1932||301|
|Postmortem: In Search of a Heart Campo dos Afonsos, 2000||312|
|Origins and Acknowledgments||317|
|What Santos-Dumont Wrote||349|
|What Santos-Dumont Read||351|
|What Santos-Dumont Made||353|
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