A lavishly illustrated celebration of the golden age of aircraft, cars, ships and locomotives from 1900 to 1941 by the author of the bestselling Empire of the Clouds.
This dazzling book describes the flourishing of transport and travel, and the engineering that made it possible, in the years before the Second World War. It is a homage to the great vehicles and their mechanisms, their cultural impact and the social change they enabled.
James Hamilton-Paterson explores the pinnacle of the steam engine, the advent and glory days of the luxury motorcar and the monster vehicles used in land speed records, the marvellous fast ocean liners and the excitement and beauty of increasingly aerodynamic forms of passenger aircraft. These were the days when for most people long-distance travel was a dream, and the dream-like glamour of these machines has never been surpassed.
Hamilton-Paterson has an unrivalled ability to write evocatively about engineering and design in their historical context, and in this book he brings a vanished era to life.
'One of England's most skilled and alluring prose writers in or out of fiction' London Review of Books.
'A book that is by turns engrossing and infuriating – a response to Brexit in mechanical form' Evening Standard, on What We Have Lost.
'Exquisitely written and ripe with detail, James Hamilton-Paterson explores one disaster story after another' Sunday Times, on What We Have Lost.
'He writes beautifully' Literary Review.