Monthly Archives: January 2012

China’s Wings excerpt

An email this morning from Tracy Devine, my delightful and talented editor at Bantam,  brought to my attention a China’s Wings excerpt posted by Powell’s Books. Here it is, Saint Patrick’s Day, 1931, which is Chapter One, in its entirety. … Continue reading

Posted in China's Wings | 2 Comments

Huge news from Patagonia!

Breaking news from Patagonia, reported by Colin Haley, is that Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk have completed the first “fair means” ascent of Cerro Torre’s SE Ridge (the left-hand skyline in the photo), not using any of Maestri’s infamous bolts … Continue reading

Posted in Enduring Patagonia | Tagged | 4 Comments

CNAC and the Flying Tigers

CNAC and the Flying Tigers… and that’s the American Volunteer Group, the real Flying Tigers,  not just any old US Army Air Corps pilot who served in China during World War II. (Ask any member of the AVG — they’ll … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s and 1940s history, aviation history, China's Wings | 3 Comments

The Maiden flight of CNAC’s Douglas Dolphin over Shanghai, 1934

Down at the bottom you’ll find CNAC’s first Douglas Dolphin on its maiden flight in 1934, but it’s old Shanghai that makes this picture so enjoyable. How many buildings can you identify?

Posted in Aviation photos, China & Chinese history, China's Wings | Tagged | Leave a comment

CNAC wreckage found in Western China

Bob Willett, CNAC association member and author of An Airline at War: The Story of the China National Aviation Corporation and Its Men, and Clayton Kuhles of, recently discovered the wreckage of the first CNAC airplane lost on the … Continue reading

Posted in aviation history, China's Wings | Tagged | 1 Comment

Some of my best friends, and some more on Barbara Tuchman

Building on what I said yesterday about how Barbara Tuchman’s book Practicing History helped me organize my research, through the years, I’ve read most of the major works in Barbara Tuchman’s canon: The Guns of August, The Proud Tower, A … Continue reading

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews, China's Wings, Reading, Writing, and Research | 3 Comments

Practicing History, or, How Barbara Tuchman saved my bacon

Barbara Tuchman’s book Practicing History taught me the system for organizing research on 4×6 index cards that I used to great effect while writing China’s Wings. Continue reading

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews, China's Wings, Reading, Writing, and Research | Tagged | 3 Comments

China’s Wings now available for pre-order

I think it’ll only be another few weeks before I get my advance copies of China’s Wings. My guess is that I’ll have them in the last week of January. And I’m happy to announce that China’s Wings is available … Continue reading

Posted in China's Wings | 6 Comments

Exciting first ascents completed in Patagonia this season

I’ve got Patagonia on the brain having given Enduring Patagonia’s Winter West Face slide show to the Rock, Ice, Mountain Club in Santa Rosa last night, and this morning, I’m seeing reports from several exciting new routes recently completed in … Continue reading

Posted in China's Wings, Enduring Patagonia | Tagged | Leave a comment

Strongly recommended — Ian Toll’s Pacific Crucible

Now that I’ve survived the Christmas swivet and am buckling down to ramp up for China’s Wings’ publication (so much so that I’m probably going to curtail my surfing despite the ongoing run of excellence at Ocean Beach), I want … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s and 1940s history, Book & Movie Reviews, China's Wings | 2 Comments