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