The first full cultural history of the ultimate modern structure: the airport, revealed as never before ...
Since its origins in the muddy fields of flying machines, the airport has arguably become one of the defining institutions of modern life. In Naked Airport, critic Alastair Gordon ranges from global geopolitics to action movies to the daily commute, showing how airports have changed our sense of time, distance, travel, style, and even the way cities are built and business is done.
Gordon introduces the people who shaped this place of sudden transportation: pilots like Charles Lindberg, architects like Eero Saarinen, politicians like Fiorello La Guardia, and Hitler, who built Berlin’s Tempelhof as a showcase for Fascist power. He describes the airport’s futuristic contributions, such as credit cards, in the form of fly-now-pay-later schemes, and he charts its shift in popular perception, from glamorous to infuriating. Finally, he analyzes the airport’s function in war and peace—its gatekeeper role controlling immigration, its appeal to revolutionaries since the hijackings of the 1960s, and its new frontline position in the struggle against terror.
Compelling and accessible, Naked Airport is an original history of a long-neglected yet central creation of modern reality and imagination.