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The Hindenburg

The Hindenburg - Michael M. Mooney Overall, the book was a quick read, and was an enjoyable source of backround information to enhance my appreciation of the Hindenburg crash site when I briefly passed through Lakehurst, NJ recently. I have no doubt that better works are out there, if you care to look for them. This author does best when he sticks to the facts. The chapters describing the early days of balloon ships and the unusual character Count von Zeppelin are adequate. Zeppelins enjoyed a vanishingly short window of primacy during World War I, when German Zeppelins silently plied the English skies, armed with bombs, and high enough to be out of range from groundfire. Given the face of warfare today, it boggles the imagination to think that was less than 100 years ago! Post-war, and into the era of the Third Reich, politics infected the zeppelin community, which to that point had existed as a close-knit brotherhood of airship explorers. There is enough nonfictional information to make a completely enjoyable book without delving into fiction. The speculative tale of sabotage, and the concocted details flushing out the biographies of passengers and crew are uninspired, and don't contribute much. Nothing against historical fiction- I'm a James Michener fan- but this author's strengths lie elsewhere. Pro's: cheap, quick read, adequate source of nonfictional background info about the Hindenburg Con's: the fictional story reads flat, and there are almost definitely better works out there on this subject.