Last Days of the Concorde: The Crash of Flight 4590 and the End of Supersonic Passenger Travel (Air Disasters Book 3)Last Days of the Concorde: The Crash of Flight 4590 and the End of Supersonic Passenger Travel by Samme Chittum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chittum's focus is steady if somewhat distant from the precipitating event in Concorde's demise, providing a nice ingress into a subject. The tone is scholarly but with a journalist's linguistic accessibility (there are no obtuse phrases like, "journalist's linguistic accessibility," in Chittum's book, and it's the better for it.). She introduces us to some of the key figures in the events of Concorde's crash and does a serviceable job conveying the emotional toll of that horrible day and the subsequent aftermath.

Chittum plays the aftermath pretty much down-the-middle, a totally valid choice that, none-the-less limits the potential resonance of a book about Concorde. There's a brief section about the reaction of Queens (New York) residents to the cessation of Concorde flights that illuminated some of the socio-economic impacts of Concorde. In addition to being a technological marvel, and beautifully crafted airplane, it was also a plaything of the super-rich that significantly degraded the lives of citizens living beneath its flightpath. The sentiments of residence living near JFK airport was better characterized as, "good riddance," than sorrow about the cessation of Concorde flights.

The detour in Queens was brief and Chittum sticks primarily to the accident that brought down Concorde and the reconstruction of that accident by investigators. It's a zippy narrative that I enjoyed.

Note to publisher: That cover design is some rough stuff. It is, objectively, a nice design, but one would be challenged to come up with a less sympathetic image. Holy mother.

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