By Brendan I. Koerner
In an the United States torn aside by means of the Vietnam struggle and the dying of sixties idealism, plane hijackings have been astonishingly regimen. Over a five-year interval beginning in 1968, the determined and upset seized advertisement jets approximately as soon as per week, utilizing weapons, bombs, and jars of acid. a few hijackers wanted to flee to international lands, the place they imagined being hailed as heroes; others aimed to switch hostages for sacks of money. Their felony exploits mesmerized the rustic, by no means extra so than while the younger fans on the center of Brendan I. Koerner’s The Skies Belong to Us pulled off the longest-distance hijacking in American history.
A shattered military veteran and a mischievous social gathering woman, Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western airways Flight 701 as a obscure protest opposed to the warfare. via a mixture of savvy and dumb good fortune, the couple controlled to escape throughout an ocean with a half-million cash in ransom, a feat that made them infamous world wide. Koerner spent 4 years chronicling this madcap story, which consists of a forged of characters starting from exiled Black Panthers to African despots to French motion picture stars. He combed via over 4,000 declassified files and interviewed rankings of key figures within the drama—including one of many hijackers, whom Koerner stumbled on residing in overall obscurity. but The Skies Belong to Us is greater than simply a captivating yarn a couple of amazing heist and its bittersweet, decades-long aftermath. it's also a mental portrait of the United States at its such a lot turbulent, and a testomony to the insanity which could grip a country while politics fail.