THE SKIES BELONG TO US

THE SKIES BELONG TO US

LOVE AND TERROR IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF HIJACKING

Book
Average Rating:
Rate this:
2
In an America torn apart by the Vietnam War and the demise of sixties idealism, airplane hijackings were astonishingly routine. Over a five-year period starting in 1968, the desperate and disillusioned seized commercial jets nearly once a week, using guns, bombs, and jars of acid. Some hijackers wished to escape to foreign lands, where they imagined being hailed as heroes; others aimed to swap hostages for sacks of cash. Their criminal exploits mesmerized the country, never more so than when the young lovers at the heart of Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong to Us pulled off the longest-distance hijacking in American history.

A shattered Army veteran and a mischievous party girl, Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines Flight 701 as a vague protest against the war. Through a combination of savvy and dumb luck, the couple managed to flee across an ocean with a half-million dollars in ransom, a feat that made them notorious around the globe. Koerner spent four years chronicling this madcap tale, which involves a cast of characters ranging from exiled Black Panthers to African despots to French movie stars. He combed through over 4,000 declassified documents and interviewed scores of key figures in the drama-including one of the hijackers, whom Koerner discovered living in total obscurity. Yet The Skies Belong to Us is more than just an enthralling yarn about a spectacular heist and its bittersweet, decades-long aftermath. It is also a psychological portrait of America at its most turbulent, and a testament to the madness that can grip a nation when politics fail.
ISBN: 9780307886118
Branch Call Number: PB BIOGRAPHY KOE
Alternative Title: Staff picks

Opinion

From Library Staff

Koerner's rollicking narrative reads like a pop culture reminiscent of some distant era, the so-called 1961-72 "Golden Age of Skyjacking." Airport security measures were inadequate and acts of air piracy occurred as often as once a week. The hijacking of Western Airlines Flight 701 from... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

Who has heard of Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow? Who remembers the eruption of skyjacking in the sixties and seventies? It was a time when a plane was hijacked every week, when airport security was non-existent, a time when you could actually commandeer a plane, fly halfway across the world, and find asylum in a far away land. That's exactly what Holder and Kerkow did. This is their story.

c
claireswazey
Nov 20, 2013

Fascinating. Contained many facts and details about the hijacking era that I didn't know. From what I see here, seems like most of the hijackers were nuts. Not all of them seemed to be mentally ill- but quite a few obviously were. I had no idea that it was as widespread and common as it had become. The information about the hijacking era in general is what interested me the most-more than did the one specific story of Holder and Kerkow. Fun read.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

  Loading...

Find it at WVML

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top