Sunday, June 9, 2013

THE SKIES BELONG TO US: A PREVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE SKIES BELONG TO US
Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking
BY BRENDAN I. KOERNER

ABOUT THE BOOK:
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. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
BRENDAN I. KOERNER is a contributing editor at Wired and the author of Now the Hell Will Start, which was optioned by filmmaker Spike Lee. A former columnist for both The New York Times and Slate, he was named one of Columbia Journalism Review’s “Ten Young Writers on the Rise." Visit him at www.microkhan.com and follow him at @brendankoerner. 

PRAISE FOR THE SKIES BELONG TO US:
"A star-crossed, anti-hero love story that will transport you back to the '70s."–New York Post

"The true story of young lovers who commandeer a flight from LAX to Seattle and get away with one of the biggest skyjackings in American history." –Los Angeles Magazine

"A riveting, highly readable tale of terror in the skies." –Kirkus Reviews

“Koerner crafts thorough research into a perceptive, riveting presentation.” –Booklist

“Gripping… A fascinating look at the history of skyjacking. The odyssey of Holder’s life before and after his act of terror, aided by his lover, Cathy Kerkow, makes for a compelling read.” –Publishers Weekly

“Brendan I. Koerner has meticulously reconstructed one of the maddest and most fascinating crime stories in American history.  The result is a riveting and illuminating book that will hold you in its spell.”– David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z

“The Skies Belong to Us is one of the most exciting and fascinating books that I've read this year.  It recreates a time when American skyjackings were so common – and casual – that they occurred every week, and brings you into the thrilling heart of one of the most audacious hijackings in history.  I couldn't stop reading, and what's most amazing is that it's all true.”– Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

“Brendan I. Koerner has turned an odd, nearly forgotten aerial-hijacking episode into an astonishing, hilarious, and un-put-downable true-crime narrative. I had no idea that any story could connect the Eldridge Cleaver of the Sixties with the TSA miseries of today's air travel, but The Skies Belong to Us does that and much more. This is a marvelously entertaining, instructive, and humane book.”– James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic and author of China Airborne

“Besides being a can't-put-it-down page-turner and an evocative recollection of a forgotten slice of history, The Skies Belong To Us feels uncannily relevant today in its depiction of how political forces can impede rational solutions to criminal violence.” – Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar

“A thrill ride through the turbulent times when airline hijackings were a weekly occurrence, The Skies Belong to Us is true-crime writing at its best.  Fast-paced and hard to put down, Brendan I. Koerner’s historical page-tuner artfully reconstructs one of the most astonishing skyjackings of Vietnam War era while telling a larger story of politics, money, and how air travel became what it is today.” – Nick Turse, author of Kill Anything That Moves

   GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO JESSICA AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT CROWN PUBLISHING WITH RANDOM HOUSE,
I HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS AMAZING NON-FICTION
THRILLER, THE SKIES BELONG TO US, TO
GIVE AWAY TO ONE VERY LUCKY READER
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE SKIES BELONG TO US THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU WOULD WANT TO ASK AUTHOR BRENDAN I. KOERNER IF YOU COULD
  
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY TO GAIN MORE ENTRIES
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY

 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, JUNE 28
GOOD LUCK!

71 comments:

debbie said...

This sounds like a very well researched book. I would be interested to see what happens. I had no idea that that was so common.
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Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Sounds wonderful!

I am stopping by today because you were my first comment 4 years ago today, the day I officially call my blogiversary. There is a party going on at Book Journey, this is your personal invite ;)

Steve Capell said...

This one sounds like a captivating read and I would like to understand what happened to these people and the money. Thanks for the opportunity.

steven.capell@gmail.com

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Carol N Wong said...

The topic of skyjacking during the 1970s really captured my attention. I have a friend who was an exchange student for Lebanon. He was coming home to Indianapolis when his plane was skyjacked. It was a very harrowing experience for him as you can imagine. I have letter from him detailing his experience. So I am very interested in reading about a couple of hijackers. Will add this book to my wishlist as a must read.

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Carol N Wong said...

I would like to ask Brendan I. Koerner if Roger Holder had any other motivation for hijacking than his well known demand? Which one of them did you interview? Also what happened after France turned them over to the U.S.?

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Pamela Keener said...

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Anonymous said...

I remember the hijackings so well. A student a few years ahead of me was on a hijacked plane - with her parents.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if the author could tell us how many of the hijackers are still at large.


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Rebecca O said...

I honestly have never heard about these hijackings so this sounds like an interesting book.

Patricia said...

Hilarious true-crime narrative sounds like great summer reading!
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Rosita said...

I live through that time and it seems like yesterday! This sounds like a great read. rosita(dot)p(dot)mariani(at)gmail(dot)com

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