Blogged at River City Reading
Today, it’s hard to imagine breezing into an airport mere minutes before your flight takes off; no metal detectors, no full body scanners…shoes on. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, airport security was shockingly nonexistent and customers were treated like royalty. At the same time, however, airplane hijackings were so common that some insurance companies began offering “skyjacking insurance” for passengers who happened to be caught in the unpleasant situation.
In his book The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, Brendan I. Koerner pieces together a history of this time period, centering on a Vietnam veteran named Roger Holder and his party girl accomplice who successfully hijacked Western Airlines Flight 701 and became notorious throughout the world. Both a fascinating look into the psychology of America and a detailed portrait of the lives of the era’s key players, Koerner has put together a brilliant piece of narrative non-fiction that often reads like an exciting caper.