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2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Hamilton-Paterson Narrator: Gildart Jackson Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781504726771
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A dramatic and fascinating account of aerial combat during World War I, revealing the terrible risks taken by the men who fought and died in the world’s first war in the air

Little more than ten years after the first powered flight, aircraft were pressed into service in World War I. Nearly forgotten in the war’s massive overall death toll, some 50,000 aircrew would die in the combatant nations’ fledgling air forces.

The romance of aviation had a remarkable grip on the public imagination, propaganda focusing on gallant air “aces” who become national heroes. The reality was horribly different. Marked for Death debunks popular myth to explore the brutal truths of wartime aviation: of flimsy planes and unprotected pilots; of burning, screaming nineteen-year-olds falling to their deaths; of pilots blinded by the entrails of their observers.

James Hamilton-Paterson also reveals how four years of war produced profound changes both in the aircraft themselves and in military attitudes and strategy. By 1918 it was widely accepted that domination of the air above the battlefield was crucial to military success, a realization that would change the nature of warfare forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hamilton-Paterson’s superb book, not only meticulously researched but also supremely readable, tells the tales of many…heroes.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “A terrific story, which Hamilton-Paterson tells with tremendous relish, elegance, and attention to detail.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Hamilton-Paterson’s thorough research reveals much-his book is a wide-ranging education of WWI aviation and is written by someone who really knows flying. Highly recommended!”


  • “The author shows how decisions made by politicians, the owners of aircraft factories, inventors, engineers, and the men who turned new recruits into fighter pilots affected the air war…Best of all [Paterson]—who has a solid body of fiction to his credit—is a consummate storyteller; not only does the book tell a fascinating story, it is nearly impossible to put down.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “An exhilarating book. By turns, thrilling, joyful, wistful, and provocative.”

    Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607

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About the Author

James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of Empires of the Clouds, a classic account of the golden age of British aviation. He won a Whitbread Prize for his first novel, Gerontius. He lives in Austria.

About the Narrator

Gildart Jackson’s acting credits span the stage and screen. He is most often recognized for his roles as Gideon on Charmed and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital. He has also starred in numerous television shows, including CSI and Vegas, and he played the lead in the highly acclaimed independent feature film You, directed by his wife, Melora Hardin.