Flight to the Top of the World (Hardcover)
The Adventures of Walter Wellman
University of Nebraska Press, 9780803296787, 392pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 2018
In his day Walter Wellman (1858–1934) was one of America’s most famous men. To his contemporaries, he seemed like a character from a Jules Verne novel. He led five expeditions in search of the North Pole, two by dogsled and three by dirigible airship, and in 1910 made the first attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air—which the self-styled expert on aerial warfare saw as a mission of world peace. He endured hardships, cheated death on more than one occasion, and surrounded himself with a team of assistants as eccentric and audacious as he was.
In addition to his daring adventures, Wellman became a nationally known political reporter and unofficial spokesman for the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations. He was not the first newspaper-sponsored adventurer, but more than any of his predecessors he turned exploration into a real-time media event, and his reputation both flourished and suffered because of it. Wellman lived during a time of rapid social and technological change, when explorers were racing to fill in the last remaining blank spots on the map and when aviation promised to fulfill humanity’s greatest hopes and darkest fears. Flight to the Top of the World is a window into Wellman’s time and illuminates many of its dreams and contradictions.
About the Author
Praise For Flight to the Top of the World: The Adventures of Walter Wellman…
David L. Bristow, in Flight to the Top of the World, sets out to bring Wellman back to public awareness."—Timothy Anderson, Nebraska History
— Timothy Anderson
— J. Kemper Campbell
— David James
— Tom D. Crouch