Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine by Douglas Botting
The Great Zeppelin and the Dawn of Air Travel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



A richly detailed history of the opulent age of the zeppelin and the visionary builder behind the great airship, Dr. Hugo Eckener

It wasn't the airplane that first romanced the public's imagination at the dawn of the twentieth century , but the great airships known as dirigibles, or zeppelins. Championing this great leap into the technological future was a visionary German entrepreneur, Doctor Hugo Eckener.

For Eckener, the development of the airship, especially coming in the aftermath of the First World War, represented an opportunity to shrink the world through safe and speedy international travel. Botting's engrossing story vividly recaptures the spirit of the times, when new technologies in communication, transportation, manufacturing and other areas were revolutionizing society. The great airships were a source of wonder wherever they flew, and Eckener was likened to Christopher Columbus, hailed around the world as the great explorer of his day, not unlike the astronauts would be a few generations later.

From its utitlitarian beginnings in the Great War, the airship reached its apotheosis with the round-the-world flight of the Graf Zeppelin in 1929. Seventeen years after the voyage of the Titanic, this great airship- twice as big and three times as fast as that ill-fated liner-captured the world's attention and seemed to blaze a path to the future. That future, of course, was not to be, as Eckener's dream evaporated soon after, with the destruction of the Hindenburg and the impending success of the airplane.

About Douglas Botting

See more books from this Author
Douglas Botting is a writer, journalist, and biographer whose interests include travel, exploration, wild places and conservation matters. His previous works include Gerald Durrell: The Authorized Biography, The Saga of Ring of Bright Water: The Enigma of Gavin Maxwell, as well as several travel guides. He lives near London.
Published October 10, 2001 by Henry Holt and Co.. 352 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

This voyage, the apex of Zeppelin flight, is the focus of Botting’s narrative, which describes the ship as “almost as long as the Titanic, twice as beautiful, and three times as fast”—suggesting that the flight of the Graf Zeppelin is as much Botting’s dream voyage as it was Eckener’s.

| Read Full Review of Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine: ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Botting's thorough research and plausibly recreated conversations of those involved allow readers to easily step back into Eckener's world and understand the difficulties he encountered.

| Read Full Review of Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine: ...

Reader Rating for Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review