To Caress the Air: Augustus Herring and the Dawn of Flight

Historical adventure and exploration novels take many forms and “To Caress the Air” is one of the best. If you are looking for an interesting, highly-detailed account of the times and technology of early aeroplane development, David Gierke’s two-volume biographical novel of Augustus Herring is the book for you.

The author combines a novelist’s suspense and an historian’s accuracy with style and solid research, adding much to the literature addressing the on-going question of who really invented the airplane.

Gierke’s descriptive, well-researched account sets a high standard for aeronautical history buffs with engaging and highly informative descriptions of Herring’s personal triumphs and tribulations, as he sought to conquer the achievement of powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight, including some notorious legal battles on terra firma.

“To Caress the Air” is a well-written “good read” with plenty of detail that reveals the human side of Augustus Herring, a heretofore little-known and much-neglected aviation pioneer.

Gordon Schimmel, Ed.D.

Academy of Model Aeronautics

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