Nearly everything people know about airships is wrong. Few realize that prior to the Hindenburg disaster airships transported passengers without a single casualty for more than 20 years, a record unmatched by any other form of transportation. When Giants Ruled the Sky tells the true but little-known story of the USS Macon (ZRS-5), the world’s largest, most expensive and most technologically advanced airship of her day, and the four men responsible for conceiving, designing, building, and flying her. In doing so it reveals how the American airship came within a hair’s breadth of replacing planes, trains, and ocean liners as the dominant form of long-distance transportation, and exactly what went wrong, a tale of physical courage, engineering acumen, ugly politicking and two egregious disasters.
John J. Geoghegan began his career as a Special Correspondent for the New York Times. His first book, Operation Storm (Crown 2013), tells the story of a squadron of Japanese underwater aircraft carriers purpose-built to launch an aerial raid against the US as a follow up to Pearl Harbor. The Wall Street Journal called it ‘a fascinating, meticulously researched, and deft account.’ It has since been translated into Dutch and Japanese, published in paperback, and inspired a Channel Five documentary.
John J. Geoghegan photo courtesy of the author