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Hoffman makes a fine anil convincing ' case for Santos-Dumont’s particular genius ... This is a fascinating subject, as Hoffman shows in his deft account’
, Daily Telegraph

The story of man’s struggle to fly is full of larger-than-life personalities, but none was so eccentric, so entertaining or so complex as Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian ‘father of aviation’. An engineer and dandy, Santos-Dumont was the darling of the international press in the first decade of the twentieth century, hopping from Parisian restaurant to nightclub in his personal flying machine, circling the Eiffel Tower in his balloon No. 6 or dining with the Rothschilds and Roosevelts.

Yet Santos-Dumont was a troubled genius. Depressed by the success of the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk and by the increasing militarisation of flight, he retreated to European sanatoriums throughout the 1920s, returning to Brazil only to be confronted by the horrors of civil war. Paul Hoffman tells the tale of Santos-Dumont and modern flight with wit and sympathy, showing us how often brilliance is coupled with tragedy.

A poignant and sensitive study’ Times Literary Supplement Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Waitakere, Auckland, NZ

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