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Barons of the Sky

This panoramic history of the rise of the American aerospace industry traces the careers of the men whose names became synonymous with today’s military-industrial complex: Glenn Martin of Martin Marietta, Donald Douglas of McDonnell Douglas, Jack Northrop of Northrop, and Allan and Malcolm Loughead of Lockheed. Weaving together institutional history and individual biography, Wayne Biddle depicts the years of uncertainty after World War I, the bonanza of World War II, and the cutthroat postwar market. Unlike the automobile industry, the aircraft industry could never be sustained by the middle-class consumer economy, and these legendary founders had to depend on the federal government to keep their companies aloft. Barons of the Sky tells a thrilling story of obsessed men who, chasing their dreams of flight and success, created the modern aerospace weapons industry.

A 1991 New York Times Notable Book of the Year