“Palmer has produced the authoritative work on the cultural role of aviation in the imperial and early Soviet period, and on the continuities between the two. It is a bonus that the book is well written and wonderfully illustrated. Not just for aviation enthusiasts, this is essential reading for anyone studying the cultural and political history of early twentieth-century Russia.” —Slavic Review
“Scott Palmer has given us a remarkably original survey of Russia’s aeronautical development between 1909 and 1989 that artfully combines political, technological, military, and above all cultural history into a rich mosaic that yields surprising insights into “Russia’s attempt to match and overtake its Western rivals.” —Robert Wohl, author of A Passion for Wings: Aviation and the Western Imagination, 1909-1918 and The Spectacle of Flight: Aviation and the Western Imagination, 1920-1950
“Scott W. Palmer has accomplished that most difficult task, writing a readable scholarly book. Well accoutered with footnotes and an excellent bibliography, Dictatorship of the Air gives an insider’s view of aviation in the mystery wrapped in an enigma that was Russia. This is a valuable book.” —Aviation History (May 2007)
“A major work of serious scholarship. Using fresh sources, including newspapers, journals and several post-Soviet archives, Palmer has created a compelling narrative analysis of the place that the airplane held in tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union.” —Mary R. Habeck, author of Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror and Storm of Steel: The Development of Armor Doctrine in Germany and the Soviet Union, 1919-1939.
“Palmer’s book is beautifully illustrated and provides the reader with much to think about regarding the place of the airplane in Russian and Soviet culture, society and politics…this is an important contribution to the literature on Russian and Soviet industry and culture.” — Canadian Slavonic Papers
“Palmer is to be commended for integrating aviation into a wider cultural and political context. In contrast to more traditional aviation histories, Palmer’s account teases out the connections between culture, politics, and the development of the technology. In the process, he illustrates that no history of modern Russia can be considered complete without an account of the history of Russian aviation…The result is an interesting book that provides important insights into the development of Soviet aviation as well as the fate of modern Russia.” — Canadian Journal of History
“This is an important, provocative book whose serious arguments need to be engaged equally seriously.” — The Russian Review
“[An] impressively detailed account of Russia’s aviation history up to the end of World War II.” — The Journal of Transport History
“[This] is a valuable work providing insights both into Russian aviation, but also into salient features of both Imperial and Soviet Russia…Palmer has filled in many blank pages concerning the period 1909-1941 and has suggested leads and interpretations to follow.” —The International History Review
“Historians and air enthusiasts will enjoy this book and learn much from it.” —The Historian
“Very interesting and informative. Remarkably clear and well-written…Palmer’s case is well-presented and compelling.” —David R. Stone, author of A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya and Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933.
“There is no question that aviation enthusiasts will find much of interest in this book.” —The Moscow Times