"Julia Cooke's entertaining, sexism-skewering history shows how female flight attendants were also flag-flying diplomats." — Financial Times
"Stewardesses became nurses and counselors to injured and traumatized soldiers, witnesses to events at direct odds with the U.S. government’s narrative about Vietnam. At the war’s end, it was these slim, unflappable, worldly women who were responsible for ferrying hundreds of young children out of the country during the controversial Operation Babylift. Theirs was far more than a front-row view of history." — Mythili G. Rao, Washington Post
"As Cooke depicts with elegance and intricacy and nuance, these women were not objects; they were complicated individuals and ironic figureheads of a new era of women’s liberation... Come Fly the World illuminates a time just before the second wave of feminism—with its determination to fit women into a capitalist white man’s world, its rhetoric of home-as-prison-and-motherhood-as-drudgery—swept over American women. That wave remade a sense of the possible: Cooke’s stewardesses are exhilarating examples of a new generation of women getting the hell out of their podunk towns and building careers, identities, and lives for themselves around the world." —Sarah Menkedick, Lit Hub
“This engrossing account, which reads like a novel, offers a combination of riveting personal stories and little-known history, and will draw in readers from the first page. A must-read.”—STARRED, Library Journal
“An entertaining, insightful look into a gritty and glamorous era in air travel.”—STARRED Kirkus Reviews
“Thoughtful, well-researched and utterly engaging, Come Fly the World is smart escapist journalism and a tribute to hundreds of women who were much more than just a crew of pretty faces….Journalist Julia Cooke paints a riveting, complex portrait of the adventurous lives of Pan Am stewardesses during aviation's golden age.”—Shelf Awareness
“Female roles were transformed over the Pan Am decades, but stewardesses remained in a strange no-woman’s land—smiling, servile symbols of male fantasy but also working women traveling the globe in challenging jobs when most of their peers were at home with families. Come Fly the World opens an intimate porthole into the life they chose aboard Pan American.” —Air Mail
“Journalist Cooke (The Other Side of Paradise) recounts in this dramatic history the surprising role Pan Am stewardesses played in the Vietnam War….Skillfully intertwining jet-age excitement with the tumultuous politics of the era, this is a unique and compassionate portrait of barrier-breaking women in the 1960s and ’70s.” —Publishers Weekly
"At the dawn of the jet set era of boundless commercial flight, women could travel the world as stewardesses [and] engage in soft diplomacy and foreign affairs against the backdrop of the Vietnam War...For those who miss Mad Men, this is a must read." —New York Observer
“In the 1960s and 70s, Pan Am stewardesses changed a sexualized job requiring weigh-ins and retirement at 26 into a forum for serious work. They became ambassadors, transported traumatized soldiers, rescued Vietnamese children in Operation Babylift. A fascinating history of a bygone era.”—People
“The book soars… At a time when that 1960s notion of air travel as decadent and exceptional is experiencing an unexpected revival, this book may not be quite the full Pan Am dry martini you crave, but it could be the G&T in a plastic glass you need.” - The Spectator, U.K.
“Julia Cooke’s entertaining, sexism-skewering history shows how female flight attendants were also flag-flying diplomats… Come Fly the World really takes off when [Cooke] begins to look at the social and political context.” — The Financial Times
"Come Fly the World tells the story of adventurous women navigating a world on the cusp of change. In confident, clear-eyed, multi-layered prose, Julia Cooke brings to life the true stories of unforgettable Pan-Am stewardesses who defied convention, to seek more from life than they were given. This is a well-researched and fascinating history of air travel, gender equality, and so much more.”
— Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
"Before second-wave feminism came along to challenge the admissions policies of law, medical, and business schools, there were stewardesses—women every bit as daring and determined as their later counterparts in the professions, and having more fun. Julia Cooke’s Come Fly the World reveals an unexpected chapter in American history as inspiring as it is informative—a rollicking, rambunctious ride down the runway of mid-century modern life that flies straight into the headwinds of Civil Rights politics and the Vietnam War."
— Megan Marshall, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
"Viewing the untold story of jet-age stewardesses through a modern feminist lens, Julia Cooke brings vividly to life a contradictory profession, one that, for all its limitations, offered many women a chance for true liberation. A fascinating telling."
— Kate Bolick, author of New York Times bestseller Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
“Come Fly the World is a pop passport to another time. Take a social history flight with the women of Pan Am.”
— Lily Koppel, author of New York Times bestseller The Astronaut Wives Club