A SAMPLING OF REVIEWS

Femininity in Flight was reviewed in the New Yorker, The Economist, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, The American Historical Review
and various other national and historical publications in the United States and Great Britain. Below are highlights and links to full reviews, where
available.

“Barry shows how ‘pink-collar’ activists among the ranks of flight attendants worked to improve the status of their profession. . . . Barry argues that the struggle
to win professional respect was made particularly difficult by the conflict between the effortless glamour that attendants were expected to project and the
tedium and difficulty of their actual responsibilities.”
The New Yorker
see full review

“[A] history of how gracious stewardesses turned into sexy air hostesses and then into tough, grumpy flight attendants. . . . It is striking, and shameful, that
women had to leave their jobs once they married, were often subject to snap underwear inspections and had to retire at 32. . . . Much more interesting is the way
in which the status and reputation of cabin crews mirrored other social changes.”
The Economist

"The story of those once known as hostesses or stewardesses, who came to be known as flight attendants, is a microcosm of the world of work in the last
century. Women were policed by the airlines into slim glamour and an aura of sexual availability, and learned quickly the importance of organization and
autonomy: Barry's well-documented history spends more of its length on union charters and test cases than it does on hemlines. One of its strengths is a
demonstration that cultural history does not have to be impressionistic, and that economic imperatives and consciousness-raising can be as entertaining to read
about as exploitation movies."
— Roz Kaveney,
Times Literary Supplement

"One of the great strengths of Femininity in Flight is the broad context within which Barry views flight attendants' struggles, in terms of women's work, union
organisation and second-wave feminism. By contextualising her study so well and drawing out the parallels between stewardesses and other pink-collar workers,
Barry has produced a book with wide appeal and relevance to many interested in labour history, the women's movement, and the growth of service work."
— Rosie Cox,
Times Higher Education Supplement

"Barry’s feminist analysis is clever and somewhat poignant, for it sees that in the role of the air hostess a vision of female selfhood and freedom has been forced
to rub, rather uncomfortably, against a rather ogling set of corporate requirements."
— Andrew O'Hagan,
London Review of Books
see full review

“This well-researched book traces the evolution of flight attendants from glamorous sky queens to cabin safety experts and members of trade unions.”
Air & Space

“[Femininity in Flight] combines all the strengths of a scholarly monograph—extensive archival research, a solid historiographical framework—with the kind of
stylish layout and eye-catching illustration more common in books for the general reader. And Barry writes with clarity and wit. She tells a complicated story, but
engrossingly.”
— Joshua Zeitz ,
American Heritage

“Sparkling prose, informative visuals, and keen analysis bring alive the story of women’s flight service. . . . Prodigiously researched, this book adds to a small
group of first-rate histories of women’s service work. Highly recommended.”
— M. Greenwald,
Choice

“Readers get a comprehensive, scholarly look at an occupation originally based almost entirely on cultural expectations of early 20th-century white, middle-class
femininity-beauty, charm, domesticity, and concern for the comfort of others - yet requiring a great deal of courage, resourcefulness, and hard work mainly
hidden from public view. . . . This thoroughly researched work will suit both academic and lay readers. Recommended for all history and women's studies
collections.”
Library Journal

“Exhaustively researched, rich in insight, and written in a brisk, lively style, this is the definitive historical study of flight attendants in the United States.”
— Ruth Milkman,
American Historical Review

“It is good to have such work as Kathleen Barry’s to enrich our knowledge of the often-overlooked influence of a strong pink-collar industry. Femininity in Flight
provides useful material for labor history, union history, social movement theory and history, or gender role analysis in upper-level high school or
lower-division
college courses.... The book thus has rich potential for stimulating student discussion or further research, particularly regarding gender role expectations.”
— Gayle A. Davis,
The History Teacher

“Femininity in Flight makes a significant contribution to our understanding of labor feminism, joining a body of work that challenges the notion that feminism was
essentially a white middle-class movement. . . . A great read; it will keep you enlightened and entertained through even a lengthy flight delay.”
— Nan Enstad,
Labor History

“[A] sophisticated and detailed study of flight attendants. . . . One of the many strengths of Barry’s book is the incorporation of the history of technology into her
social and cultural analysis. . . . Readers will learn much from this deeply researched book.”
Dennis A. Deslippe,
The Historian

“Well written and carefully documented, Barry's book is a valuable addition to literature on gender and labor history.”
— Jane Marcellus,
Journal of American History

“This is an excellent book. . . . [A] well written, engaging, and thought-provoking contribution to the literature on gender, women, work, and culture.”
— Janet F. Davidson,
Journal of Social History

“Barry provides us with an insightful history of this transformation from hot pants to khakis, from individualized customer care to efficient assembly line beverage
service, and from glamorous stewardesses to no-nonsense flight attendants. Barry places this story in the context of the history of air travel, the gendering of
technology and work, the organized labor movement in the postwar period, and, most importantly, the simultaneous growth of pink-collar work, the demand for
civil rights in the workplace, and second-wave feminism.”
— Julie Kimmel,
Enterprise and Society

“Barry provides an entertaining study of American flight attendants since the 1930s, filling a major void in scholarship on labour history, women’s history, and
tourism. Drawing particularly on memoirs, union records, and industry publications, Barry convincingly argues that stewardesses and their allies were vital to the
advancement of second-wave feminism and the modern labour movement.”
— Anthony J. Stanonis,
Canadian Journal of History

“Barry tells a fascinating story about the history of flight attendants and their success challenging deeply rooted gendered stereotypes that were largely invented
by the airline industry to maximize profit and then exploited by air travelers and the public at large. . . . [E]ssential reading for historians and students of the
twentieth century.”
— Lisa Phillips,
Labour/Le Travail

Femininity in Flight tells a fascinating story of how technology and femininity appropriated each other’s glamour—and how aviation and its handmaidens
eventually descended from the clouds to become an ordinary industry and an ordinary group of workers.”
American Heritage of Invention and Technology

"There was a time when flight attendants were required to wear mini-skirts and were fired if they married, passed the age of 32, or exceeded a strict weight limit.
This book tells the fascinating story of how the way flight attendants have seen themselves, been marketed, and have organized has reflected shifting social
trends regarding the role of women in American society."
World Wide Work

“Soar through the pleasures and plights of females in flight with this highly informative read. . . . With a no nonsense writing style, well-documented evidence,
and telling photos (marvel at the hot pants uniform on page 183), Barry demonstrates how flight attendants’ long history of organizing and fighting for their rights
made them crusaders for all women and key contributors to second-wave feminism. After reading this you’ll step on a plane wanting to salute any veteran
attendants for their journey as you embark on your own.”
— Paula Wehmeyer,
Bust

“[A] monograph that will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students, as well as general readers who will enjoy her accessible prose and well-
organized chapters.”
— Vicki Howard, EH.Net

“Barry successfully relates a sympathetic portrait of flight attendants while tactfully maintaining an objective analysis of their particular position within aviation.
Her comprehensive portrait of flight attendants as safety professionals taken for granted by abusive passengers, exploited by air carriers with an eye on the
bottom line and subjected to standards of appearance (including weight control, former age caps and marriage bans) makes the reader care about them and their
long history for recognition and change within the profession. . . .”
— Lacey Dunham, Feminist Review blog
© Kathleen M. Barry, 2006 -