Required to have a college education, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3" and 5′9", between 105 and 140 pounds, and under 26 years of age at the time of hire. Cooke weaves together the real-life stories of stewardesses as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life. She brings to light the story of Pan Am stewardesses' role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields, as well as Operation Babylift, the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon.
Julia Cooke is a journalist and travel writer whose features and personal essays have been published in Time, Smithsonian, Condé Nast Traveler, and Saveur. She is the author of The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba. The daughter of a former Pan Am executive, Cooke grew up in the Pan Am "family," a still-strong network across the globe. She lives in Vermont.
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